Important, indifferent, or irrelevant?


Number 621 • March 19, 2021


I saw this illustration, but you can easily visualize it. The teacher had a large glass jar and an assortment of other things on the table. He said he would demonstrate how to fill a jar – of course we could see into it and judge what he was doing. First he placed some large rocks in the jar – some smooth, some with jagged edges – until no more would fit. Has the jar been filled now? Yes, some agreed that it was full. No, not yet. He poured in some coarse gravel and shook the jar so that the gravel settled between the rocks. Full now? Yes. Are you sure? He then poured in some very fine sand, shook it and watched it settle into the space between rocks and gravel until the mass was seemingly solid and immoveable. Is the jar full now? Yes, certainly so – no room even for more sand. He then began to pour water into the jar until everything was wet and the water was at the topmost level of the jar. Now everyone agreed that it was completely filled and full. The teacher then said this was a test – a test of perception. Each student was required to write the lesson learned from the demonstration. What lesson did you learn from this? Continue reading

#character, #geraldcowan, #priorities

May 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Noble Character of Philippians)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Philippians: An Introduction (Bill Burk)
  • The Progress of the Gospel (Cody Westbrook)
  • Joy in Philippians (Bruce Ligon)
  • Unity in Philippians (Todd Clippard)
  • Peace in Philippians (Kevin Cauley)
  • Spiritual Maturity in Philippians (Trent Kennedy)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#character, #christian-peace, #christian-unity, #christian-worker, #joy, #pauls-epistles, #philippians, #spiritual-maturity


“We also glory in tribulations knowing that tribulation…

“We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4 NKJV).  This seems to be a formula for facing disasters.  “Tribulations” are events that squeeze our lives; “perseverance” is pacing ourselves for the long-term; “character” shows our inner strength; and “hope” looks ahead to better things.  Smoky Mountain wildfires destroyed bodies, buildings and businesses, yet, surprisingly: 1) people thanked God only “things” were ruined, their lives were spared;  2) people planned to re-build their lives and buildings; 3) there was no looting and stealing,  though thousands of volunteers came to fight the fires, repair the damage, and help the victims;  4) determination to make it better than before. God has said: “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” (Psalm 50:15 NKJV).  It has brought out the best in us.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#character, #smoky-mtn-wildfires


(#45) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:22-Cosmetics Without Character!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 11:22: “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.”

God described His relationship with the Jews as one giving His wife finery, including “jewel in your nose” (Ezekiel 13:10-16). In His prediction of His punishment on His people, the Jews, God listed what they would lose, including “the nose jewels” (Isaiah 3:18-23). A “ring of gold” would have been intended for a sign of an intimate relationship between a husband and wife (Genesis 24:45-48). It was never intended for a “swine!” Under Moses’ Law, “swine” were unclean, not to be eaten or touched when dead (Deuteronomy 14:8); Jesus taught pearls were not to be cast before them (Matthew 7:6); Jesus cast demons into a “herd of many swine” (Matthew 8:30-32); and Jesus taught a Jewish man had entered the depths of depravity who “would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate” (Luke 15:15-16). “A gold ring in a swine’s snout” not only was useless, but wasted, as well!

“A lovely woman” has wasted her beauty who does not develop “discretion” (good judgment, sound reasoning). “Discretion” should also be found in “young men” (Proverbs 1:4), developing slow anger (Proverbs 19:11), and represents the planning God put into “the heavens” (Jeremiah 10:12). King Ahasuerus, whose heart “was merry with wine,” commanded Queen Vashti to “show her beauty” for “she was beautiful to behold” (Esther 1:10-12), but she “refused.” She showed “discretion” even though the word is not used in this passage! It is true that “beauty is passing” (Proverbs 31:30), and a tragedy of womanhood seems to be those who work on their outside to be seen as attractive, while having the character of a rotting corpse! The runway models, singers, actresses, and other entertainers who emphasize all their womanly charms, frequently show their ignorance of what God made a woman to be, by their actions! God made a woman to fill the deep need for close companionship in a man through marriage (Genesis 2:18-25), not to free herself to do every vile sin perverse men could do! Good looks are wasted on any woman who is equal to men in sin by: cursing, drinking, drugs, violence, fornication before marriage, adultery after marriage, without conscience, and without natural affection for her husband and children. Good looks are wasted on the kind of woman Solomon has already warned a “son” to completely avoid (Proverbs 2:16-22; 5:1-20; 6:20-35; 7:6-27)!

“Discretion” is seen in Christian women who learn to “love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands” (Titus 2:4-5), and who learn how to dress appropriately at all times (1 Timothy 2:9-10). All women are truly beautiful who emphasize “the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:1-6, verse 4). There is no amount of make-up, perfume, sexy clothing, hairstyles, or aggressive behavior that can successfully hide the lack of “discretion!” Only by repenting and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) can the real beauty treatments begin to develop the “new” beautiful person within (Colossians 3:1-17).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#baptism, #beauty, #bible-study, #character, #cosmetics, #discretion, #god, #good-judgement, #good-looks, #marriage, #nose-ring, #proverbs, #wisdom, #womanhood

Hugh’s News & Views (Jobs In My Youth)



I count myself fortunate to have grown up in a family that put a premium on working. From a very early age, I was taught the meaning of work and of being responsible. The first job I had that I have any real memory of was when my parents owned a small poultry farm a few miles east of DeFuniak Springs, Florida. At that time I was in the first and second grades. My responsibilities included helping my mother gather eggs each evening. My father worked 60 miles from home at Wainwright Shipyard in Panama City and his only time to help out with the chicken-raising enterprise was on the weekends.

As I grew older, I had work to do in the family vegetable garden, as well as mowing the grass and keeping the yard around the house looking nice. I was not paid for doing any of this as it was viewed as a part of my responsibility as a member of the family. When I would ask my daddy about paying me for the work, his response was, “Son, I pay you three times a day—every time you sit down to the table to eat.” I never remember receiving an allowance, but I did not feel abused or mistreated. On Saturday afternoons I would get the 11 cents necessary to get into the Ritz Theater and see a double feature, a serial, a cartoon, and a highlight reel of world news. I would get an extra nickel or dime for a coke or a candy bar. As a child I never went hungry or without adequate clothes. At Christmas I always got things I really wanted.

My first paying job was delivering the Pensacola News-Journal on both a morning and afternoon route which I worked on my bicycle. I do not remember how much I made a week doing this but I think it was around $6.00. That was a lot of money to an 11-year-old boy in 1949, and I opened a savings account at the Cawthon State Bank in DeFuniak and made regular deposits to it.

When I was 13 I began working as a general flunky in Lightfoot’s Drug Store. I worked after school hours, on Saturdays, and on Sunday afternoons. When Mr. Lightfoot hired me I was too timid to ask what I would be paid. After I had worked a week, he paid me $5.00. As I recall he increased it by a dollar the next week and it remained at $6.00 or maybe $7.00 for the rest of the time I worked there. At Christmas he gave me a wrist watch, something I had never owned. Later I worked at King’s Rexall Drug Store for about the same pay but the job did not involve Sunday work. Stocking the shelves, sweeping the floors, washing dishes behind the soda fountain, jerking sodas, delivering prescriptions on a bicycle, and even selling merchandise were character-building activities that taught a young person responsibility.

Following our move to Florence, AL and during my last two years of high school at Mars Hill Bible School I did not have a part-time job, but focused all of my attention on my school work and extra curricular activities, especially interscholastic debate and participation in drama and choral activities. The summer between my junior and senior years of high school when I was 16 years old I worked as a counselor at a summer camp in Mendham, NJ, about 40 miles outside of New York City. I was paid $100.00 for the summer’s (two months) work but it was worth a year of high school or even early college training! In fact, all of the other counselors other than my best friend who also worked there that summer were college students. During the last half of my senior year in high school and continuing through the first quarter of my freshman year at Freed-Hardeman College I preached every Sunday for a rural church near Florence. Near the end of my high school senior year and the following summer I also had a part-time job at a shoe store in Florence.

In the summer following my freshman year of college, after my parents had moved back to DeFuniak Spring, Florida, I worked in a poultry processing plant. My main job was going out with the chicken-catching crew very early in the morning while it was still dark, catching a flatbed truck load of fryers, and having them back at the plant by the time processing operations started. Fourteen chickens went into a coop and the experienced catchers could fill a coop on a single trip from the chicken house to the truck. The first few days I could only catch seven chickens per trip, but I was determined to get as good as the “professionals.” Within a short time I also was catching 14 chickens per trip, and occasionally, to prove it could be done, I would catch 21! There is an art to knowing how to catch that many fryers and hold them by one leg between all the fingers of your hands but I won’t attempt to explain that process.

That same summer (1956) I also preached for the church in Florala, AL, some 25 miles northwest of DeFuniak Springs, going there Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights to preach and teach. I do not recall how much I made at the poultry plant for a five day work week; neither do I remember how much I was paid by the church in Florala. My memory is that each place paid $25-$30 per week. But what tremendous experience I was gaining, especially in preaching. Then, too, there is nothing so character building as catching chickens, stacking full chicken coops several feet high on a flatbed truck, removing manure from chicken houses by means of a shovel and a wheelbarrow, and unloading railroad boxcars of 50 pound sacks of chicken feed—to say nothing of what such does to build a strong body. And even after seeing all that goes on in a poultry processing plant (I also was a “pinch hitter” at several of the stations along the processing “assembly line”), I still like fried chicken!

Speaking Schedule:

June 26: Wingate Church of Christ, Nashville, TN

July 3: Dalraida Church of Christ, Montgomery, AL

Hugh Fulford

June 25, 2013

#character, #employment, #hughfulford


Psalm 112

Vs. 1-9 show God reflected in His people;

Vs. 10 shows who can’t stand this.

Psalm 111 describes the character of God that prompts praise; Psalm 112 describes the character of those who “fear God and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13; Acts 10:34-35). “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:3-6).

Verses 1-9:  (Verse 1) “Praise the LORD” (is the word, Hallelujah). To “fear the LORD” is to respect His commandments. (Verses 2-3) Right-thinking can be passed on to children and grandchildren (Genesis 18:16-19), but so also can disobedience (2 Kings 17:41). Benefits of right-thinking (“Wealth and riches”) may also be shared with children, as Solomon will later say: “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” (Proverbs 13:22).  (Verses 4-5) If troubles are like “darkness” then “light” is what God provides the righteous to help guide them through it: “The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked will be put out” (Proverbs 13:9). God’s person will develop God’s characteristics of being “gracious,” “righteous,” and “full of compassion.” Jesus later teaches this in Luke 6:35-36.  (Verses 6-8) There will be stability in the life of the righteous, not a total absence of difficulties, but the certainty that comes of knowing how to return to life’s main purpose: to please God (Hebrews 11:6). To “never be shaken” means knowing on whose side one stands, even when “evil tidings” are hurled by Satan’s followers, and knowing God’s final judgment condemns “his enemies” (Proverbs 10:24-25). “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The LORD will judge His people’” (Hebrews 10:30). Christians today should “not be carried about with various and strange doctrines” (Hebrews 13:9); “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Ephesians 4:14-15).  (Verse 9) This good behavior is suitable for everyone, everywhere, thus “dispersed abroad” (without prejudices, Mark 16:15-16; Romans 10:8-18) and “given to the poor” (who cannot repay, Luke 14:12-14; Matthew 25:31-46).

Verse 10: “The wicked” can’t stand to see the righteous rewarded, which was first seen when Cain killed his brother (Genesis 4:1-8; Hebrews 11:4; 1 John 3:11-12). Ever since then, doing good can be dangerous, but always right. “Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ [quoted from Proverbs 25:21-22] Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:20-21).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #character, #daily-bible-reading, #god, #jesus-christ, #obedience

Fat, not frugality: Doug Kashorek

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” Romans 5:3-4.

No, this isn’t the season to speak about suffering building character; it’s the season of warm, opulent comfort. We like images of roaring fires in a room decked in gold and silver and holly, tables laden with every meat and casserole and pie, and piles of presents under a fat and bejeweled evergreen.

Truth is: this world is too much our home, and instead of celebrating a Savior being born a man to die for His blood to cleanse our sins, we allow ourselves to become mesmerized by a jolly old elf in a red suit and his sugar-cookie-baking wife. We want fat, not frugality. We put down roots in this life instead of yearning for the next. But God’s all about ‘Character, not Comfort.’

Why else would Paul cry out, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead”?

This time of year can be an opportunity for the gospel, but only if those who have obeyed it aren’t too busy loosening our belts and falling asleep by the fire.

Do you seek comfort more than character?

Doug Kashorek

Plattsburgh church of Christ

[I bought the rights to Kin of Cain from the publisher, so I’m needing to reduce my inventory to recoup the cost. So, checks written out to me for $12.00 and sent to PO Box 2659, Plattsburgh, NY 12901, will cover the signed book (at my cost), sales tax, and shipping. I’ll even throw in a bookmark. This is an even cheaper deal than my website:]

#character, #christmas, #conformity, #devotionals, #evangelism, #gospel

Character study – JAM

This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess. What causes good people to do bad things? That was the question fronting the Life section of the USAToday. It headed an article detailing the research of psychologist David DeSteno. The question involves people who have proven to be of quality character but suddenly make a tragic mistake totally out of character. DeSteno says that contrary to popular belief character is not something that is settled and unchanging but is constantly developing. God’s word warned of this long ago: “take heed, let him who thinks that he stands beware lest he fall.” If you doubt this, just ask King David. He composed psalms of praise. He was victorious over a giant. He is called a man after God’s own heart. But he caved in at the sight of Bathsheba.

#character, #flaw, #just-a-minute

“You’ll be a man, my son.”

I never think of what a real man is without thinking of the beautiful poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. In high school I had to memorize it. In later life we bought the print, had it framed and gave it to our son for a gift. It is too long to insert here, but if you have never read it I think you would enjoy it. It is easily found on the Internet.

#boldness, #character, #compassion, #conviction, #judgment, #moral

What Is A Real Man?

The Nudge is asking what a real man is.

A real man is:

1. A man with deep convictions.
2. A man of boldness.
3. A man of character and integrity.
4. A man who does not fear reprisals.
5. A man who is not willing to compromise.
6. A man who is willing to suffer for the cause of Christ.
7. A man of grief and compassion.
8. A man who is not afraid to proclaim God’s judgment.
9. A man who is not afraid to rebuke sin.
10. A man who is not afraid to speak out on morality and ethics.
11. A man who has a never-give-up attitude.
12. A man of the Book.

See article:

My Thanksgiving holiday was great except for my terrible cold and my sore right foot due to a bout with gout. No matter – God is still good and still reigns over the affairs of men!

#boldness, #character, #compassion, #compromise, #conviction, #ethic, #fear, #grief, #integrity, #judgment, #moral, #proclaim, #reprisal, #sin, #suffer

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but …

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

Abraham Lincoln

#adversity, #character, #power, #test

Love never fails, character never quits,…

Love never fails, character never quits, and dreams do come true.

Pete Maravich, basketball player

#character, #dream, #fail, #love, #quit, #true

In a president, character is everything….

In a president, character is everything. A president doesn’t have to be brilliant… He doesn’t have to be clever; you can hire clever… You can hire pragmatic, and you can buy and bring in policy wonks. But you cant buy courage and decency, you cant rent a strong moral sense. A president must bring those things with him. He needs to have, in that much maligned word, but a good one nonetheless, a vision of the future he wishes to create.. But a vision is worth little if a president doesn’t have the character – the courage and heart – to see it through.

Peggy Noonan, 20th century American author, speech writer for U.S. President Ronald Reagan

#character, #courage, #decency, #moral, #policy, #pragmatic, #president, #vision

My favorite non-divine Bible character? …

My favorite non-divine Bible character? The investigator, Thomas, because he sought evidence as to the Lord’s validity (John 20:24-29). Oh, if we could only find folks today who were willing to do the same! (Acts 17:11; cf. Romans 12:2).

#character, #evidence, #investigate, #valid

Character is much easier kept than recov…

Character is much easier kept than recovered.

Thomas Paine, British-born American political activist (1737-1809)