Hugh’s News & Views (Some Who Left Us…)

SOME WHO LEFT US IN 2020

The wise man Solomon wrote: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a). He further observed: “No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, and no one has power over the day of death” (Ecclesiastes 8:8). Truly, “it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Likely during 2020 every one of my readers lost a loved one, a close friend, a neighbor, or a fellow member of the Lord’s church. Our daughter-in-law’s father, John Carson, a good man, a genuine Christian, left us in March. Almost 350,000 Americans died from the Covid-19 virus. From various causes, a number of well-known people passed into eternity. It can be sobering to pause and reflect for a moment on the names of some of these people. From different walks of life and in no particular order, I have listed below some of those who left us in 2020. You will think of others. Continue reading

#hughfulford

Do.

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

John 13:17 If you understand these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Do. Such a small word, yet loaded with meaning and activity. I can do so many things, some good, some not so good. I have to choose how I will spend my time and what I will do. Obviously, I want to be blessed. So I must do the things that will lead to blessings received. Should be easy, right? Not always because my selfishness surfaces and I do not always want to do good. It is a constant struggle that I had hoped by this time in my life, I would have conquered. Some days, I do very well. Others, well you get the picture.

There is also the understanding that is needed. Jesus had just washed the disciples’ feet. Something that needed to be done, but no one was willing to do it. Except Jesus. His was a servant heart that focused on obedience to the Father. May I have that focus this year and be willing to serve, even in those things that no one else wants to do.

#risingjoy #gospel-of-John #service #devotional

Creating a potential life

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 601 • January 5, 2021

CREATING A POTENTIAL LIFE.
READY FOR A “NEW YOU” IN A FUTURE THAT BEGINS NOW?

I have heard and am sometimes asked to answer the argument of “pro-choice” people that pregnancy in a female is simply “the presence of a potential life” and, since it is only potential it is not wrong to remove it. Reference to what is in the womb as an it, a non-specific nebulous unidentifiable thing and not as a living being, a human person, is significant and perhaps necessary for the narrative of the pro-abortionist. If it is only a mass of tissue then removing it is no different than removing any other unwanted matter – no more important or consequential than clipping your toe nails or hair, removing a wart or a bad tooth, but probably more complicated since it is deeply umbilically rooted in the body. But referring to the unborn as a potential life is an oxymoron, a rhetorical ploy, a way to dehumanize it and deflect attention from the rights it would have if recognized as a developing organism, as an unborn human child. Continue reading

#abortion, #conception, #geraldcowan

Revival, renewal, restoration and resurgence of the church (2)

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 600 • January 3, 2021

REVIVAL, RENEWAL, RESTORATION, AND RESURGENCE OF THE CHURCH – Part 2

The pattern for the church was implemented and flourished shortly after the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus to heaven (Acts 1–5). But division and departure from the pattern occurred early (1 Cor. 1:10-13, 3:1-3). The division was exacerbated and has accelerated during all the time since shortly after its beginning. So a return to God’s original intention has been necessary, but it is not yet complete in all aspects, even now in what we continue to call the Restoration Movement. Continue reading

#church, #geraldcowan

Deep and abiding respect

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.(Genesis 2:24 KJV)

Потому оставит человек отца своего и мать свою и прилепится к жене своей; и будут одна плоть. (Бытие 2:24 Russian)

O LORD God, our dear Heavenly Father ~ thank you for the precious gift of life that makes our mortal flesh a living being. Help every person to open their hearts to your eternal truth about the beauty and sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. Bring shame to all those who espouse that it is possible for two people of the same sex to be married. Bring back deep and abiding respect for the Spirit inspired Scriptures that contain words that lead to eternal life. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Revival, renewal, restoration and resurgence of the church (I)

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 599 • January 1, 2021

REVIVAL, RENEWAL, RESTORATION, AND RESURGENCE OF THE CHURCH – Part 1

Does the church today need a revival? That is a difficult question because of the necessary implications of the word, and because of general resistance to the use of the word revival among churches of Christ. There are at least two major reasons for resistance to the word revival. The word has been abused and rendered nearly meaningless by some denominational groups. It is about equivalent to the expression gospel meeting common among us. Gospel meeting ought to mean “a meeting of people in which the gospel of Jesus Christ is presented; an assembly of people confronted with the gospel of Christ and the demands it makes upon one’s life.” The major emphasis of such a meeting used to be the conversion and salvation of the unsaved (Rom. 10:12-14). A secondary purpose was to strengthen Christians and help them grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus (2 Peter 3:18). When used properly the word implies that something is wrong and needs to be corrected, something is dead and needs to be brought back to life again. Continue reading

#church, #geraldcowan

Fresh start

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

2 Corinthians 5:17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, what is old has passed away — look, what is new has come!

What a blessing! To be made new! I do not have to be bound or held down by my past because in Christ I am new, clean, pure. There is nothing nor anyone anywhere in the world that can do for me what Christ has already done. He truly gives me a chance for a fresh start. An appropriate verse with which to start the year!

#risingjoy #devotional

Joy on the last day

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3 ESV)

Та боюсь я, як змій звів був Єву лукавством своїм, щоб так не попсувалися ваші думки, і ви не вхилилися від простоти й чистости, що в Христі. (2 до коринтян 11:3 Ukrainian)

Most holy and wise Heavenly Father ~ thank you for the exhilarating gift of life that brings joy on the last day of this year. Bless all sincere followers of Christ Jesus as Lord to seek ways to be united in truth and love. Protect your children of faith from the deceitfulness of Satan, the enemy of all people. Help us, Lord, to be more careful about what we think about each day so that we will not relent in the true faith of Christ. We fervently pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Be-attitude resolutions for the new year

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 598 • December 31, 2020

BE-ATTITUDE RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR

INTRODUCTION:

1. All the beatitudes in the Bible can be called Be-Attitudes. This list emphasizes the Be part. 2. These are appropriate for all time, not only New Year’s resolutions, 3. We will list them in five groups. Some fit in several of the groups.
4. Your resolutions fail if there is no personal power and motivation in them. You must keep and do them. They don’t do themselves.
5. If your resolution is centered in God’s will and purpose He will help you fulfill it (Phil. 4:13). Otherwise He will not help. Continue reading

#attitude, #geraldcowan

More of Christ’s perfect wisdom

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV)

Но *Господь* сказал мне: ‘довольно для тебя благодати Моей, ибо сила Моя совершается в немощи’. И потому я гораздо охотнее буду хвалиться своими немощами, чтобы обитала во мне сила Христова. Посему я благодушествую в немощах, в обидах, в нуждах, в гонениях, в притеснениях за Христа, ибо, когда я немощен, тогда силен. (2-е Коринфянам 12:9-10 Russian)

O LORD MY GOD ~ Thank you dear Heavenly Father for the power of your grace and mercy toward all people especially those who love and obey Christ Jesus. Give us more of the perfect wisdom of Christ that Paul of Tarsus demonstrated in his life as a servant of our Lord. Help all servants of the Gospel to remain strong under duress, and instead of complaining, keep growing in the strength that comes from the power of Christ. Hold up the hands of leaders in the Church who stand by those servants of the Word when they are treated shamefully. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Keeping distance from Christ

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7 ESV)

При сем скажу: кто сеет скупо, тот скупо и пожнет; а кто сеет щедро, тот щедро и пожнет. Каждый [уделяй] по расположению сердца, не с огорчением и не с принуждением; ибо доброхотно дающего любит Бог. (2-е Коринфянам 9:6-7 Russian)

Hallelujah Oh LORD our God ~ dear Heavenly Father, from the depths of our hearts we express our amazement that the Maker of the heavens and earth counts us worthy to become your children by wholehearted faith in your beloved Son. Open the minds eye of those who prefer to keep their distance from Christ as Lord because they prefer the pleasures of sin above the joys of the higher spiritual experience of belonging to Christ with positive hope of eternal life in indescribable places that Christ is preparing for those who love and obey him. Bless everyone abundantly who choose to give bountifully to the work of the Church in spreading the Gospel message to all the world and doing deeds of kindness that honor Christ our Lord. We fervently pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister
http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

A yeti in Walmart

“But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard’” Acts 4:19-20.

If you encountered a Yeti in the automotive section of Walmart who explained to you which oil you needed for your car and then gave you the money to pay for it, we would tell everyone we saw every detail of that exchange. People might not believe you because to them Yetis are mythical. They might question you a lot on how you know that it was a true Yeti or how it knew so much or could pay for your oil. These might be uncomfortable or challenging conversations for you, but you’d try your best … because you truly believed it all to be real.

I would assert that the reason that evangelism doesn’t happen is not that we are uncomfortable speaking about the gospel or not up to the challenge of explaining to others what Jesus accomplished at the cross and at the tomb. It’s a faith problem. Your faith may be just lukewarm enough to worship with the church but not to let it change your life.

Does your faith compel you to speak of what you’ve seen and heard?

Doug Kashorek

plattsburghchurch.com

#dougkashorek #devotional #evangelism

Hugh’s News & Views (Comfort Words…)

COMFORT WORDS AND PHRASES

From my childhood to the present there have been various words and phrases that have brought me much comfort and happiness. As we close out an exceedingly trying year I thought it might be beneficial to share a few of those words and phrases with my readers. (Each of you will have your own words and phrases). Beginning with my earliest memories, here are some of the random words and phrases that have brought solace to my soul for over 80 years. Continue reading

#comfort, #hughfulford

A gospel standard safe to live by

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 597 • December 27, 2020

A GOSPEL STANDARD SAFE TO LIVE BY

A certain well-to-do widow was being pursued for marriage by several backward, awkward, rough, ill-mannered and uncouth men – each of them thought she would consider him a “good catch” and a worthy replacement for her former husband. When they pressed her to make her choice and give them an answer, she finally said that her answer was Romans 1:13, from the King James Version of the Bible from which she knew all of them would read. When they read that statement from the apostle Paul, where he said, “I would not have you ignorant brethren,” they became angry and embarrassed, but they dropped their pursuit of her. Continue reading

#freedom, #geraldcowan, #god

The most expensive gift

And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, just as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. (Joshua 14:10-11 ESV)

итак, вот, Господь сохранил меня в живых, как Он говорил; уже сорок пять лет [прошло] от того времени, когда Господь сказал Моисею слово сие, и Израиль ходил по пустыне; теперь, вот, мне восемьдесят пять лет; но и ныне я столько же крепок, как и тогда, когда посылал меня Моисей: сколько тогда было у меня силы, столько и теперь есть для того, чтобы воевать и выходить и входить; (Иисус Навин 14:10-11 Russian)

O LORD our God ~ we praise your most holy and righteous Son along with other faithful Christians on this new Lord’s Day. Thank you dear Heavenly Father for making the most expensive gift that has ever been given and you gave your beloved Son to all the world. Open the hearts of seekers of salvation to the Good News about Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior for all people. Give us renewed courage like that of Joshua and Caleb, since many of us are at that time when society wants to put us out to pasture. Help all seniors in the Church to rise up and continue doing deeds that help spread the gospel and deeds of kindness that verify our faith in Christ who went about doing good while on this earth. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional