Doing something for Jesus every day

Dr. Phil McGraw has shared on numerous occasions on his daily television show how he gets up each morning and asks himself what he can do to make his wife’s day better, or more enjoyable, that day. There’s no doubt fewer marriages would end in divorce if each person asked themselves that question about their companion. 

As I was thinking about that statement the other morning after reading my Bible, I thought, “What can I do today for Jesus?” Immediately, I thought of the poem below. 

Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today

He has no feet but our feet to lead men in the way

He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how He died

He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.

We are the only Bible the careless world will read,

We are the sinner’s gospel; we are the scoffer’s creed;

We are the Lord’s last message, given in word and deed;

What if the type is crooked? What if the print is blurred?

What if our hands are busy with other work than His?

What if our feet are walking where sin’s allurement is?

What if our tongue is speaking of things His lips would spurn?

How can we hope to help Him or welcome His return?

                                                          —Annie Johnston Flint

Of course, I want to make my precious husband’s day better every day. I want to make it special and one he will long remember. At the same time I want do something for my Lord every day. I want to be able at the end of the day to look back at that which I have done and see things I have done especially for my Lord. 

Mr. Rogers penned the song, “There are many ways to say I love you.” The song states ways to express our love for others. May we look for ways each day to express our love for our companion and our Savior.

#christian-living, #good-deeds, #jesus-christ

You were one once, if not more

Be patient with those immature teenagers … you were one once.

Be patient with that stubborn spouse … you were one once.

Be patient with the unlearned Bible student … you were one once.

Be patient with that oblivious driver … you were one once.

Be patient with that annoying coworker … you were one once.

Be patient with the unrepentant sinner … you were one once.

The need for patience is great even if the task is difficult because the odds are, whatever you’re dealing with when it comes to others, you were one once, if not a whole lot more, and others needed it with us!

“But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.” (Matthew 18:28-30 NKJV)

#patience #Christian-living

The speck, the beam, and the eye

Being guilty of sin doesn’t mean it’s wrong to say another person’s sin is wrong. After all, if we say we have no sin the truth isn’t where we live spiritually (1 John 1:8). But this isn’t to say there’s not a present problem if we think we can correct the “smaller” sin (unintentional and intentional mistakes alike) of others while actually living (habitually committing) in a “larger” sin ourself without it being a major issue.

Removing the speck while having a beam in our eye (Matthew 7:1-5) has to do with requiring more of ourselves than we do of others instead of the vice-versa!

Removing our own speck before dealing with another’s beam has to do with understanding the seriousness of the lesson ourself before we try to teach someone else. It has to do with seeing ourself before attempting to help others see.

Take, as a rough illustration, the following example from an actual online spelling test given to a sister-in-Christ’s young child:

Continue reading

#christian-living, #illustrations, #judging-others

What does the Bible say about a new life with Christ

By Douglas M. Williams Sr

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

At Romans 6:3-6, the Bible teaches that our old man dies or is crucified with Christ, that “we also should walk in newness of life,” as Christ was given new life when he was resurrected.

Before the salvation from sin that Jesus provided by his death on the cross, there was a separation between the Jews and Gentiles. At Ephesians 2:11-22, Paul tells us that Christ broke down that “wall of separation” in order to “create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace” (Ephesians 2:15).

We like new things, and Jesus has provided new things for us. We have the New Testament or covenant as Jesus made a “new covenant when He made the Old Testament obsolete (Hebrews 8:6-13). Jesus gave us “a new and living way” (Hebrews 10:20), that is shown in so many ways. Other examples are the new commandment of love in its greater meaning of quality and quantity; in speaking of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20); Jesus is the “mediator of the new covenant: (Hebrews 9:15); Jesus is preparing new mansions for Christians (John 14:1-3), as the Bible speaks of “a new heaven and a new earth” and in this connection says that God will “make all things new” (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1,5).

Paul tells us to put off the old sinful man, and put on the new man (Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:8-10). In these passages Paul tells us to put away sinful things in our lives and replace them with good things as we read Ephesians 4:25-32 and Colossians 3:12-17).

How wonderful it is to think of the new life in Christ as we enjoy all spiritual blessings in Christ.


#bible-study, #christian-living

The greatest gift Daddy ever gave Mama

We all like to receive gifts. I’m thinking today of the gift my daddy gave my mother when I was a teenager at home.

From the time Daddy and Mama married, Daddy drank. It was all I didn’t like about Daddy when I was growing up. I loved Daddy, but I didn’t like his drinking.

Mama wanted to go to worship and take me, but she didn’t drive and Daddy didn’t want to go. She told me when I got my driver’s license she would buy us a car, and I could drive us to church. We looked forward to that time. At sixteen I got my license, and mama was true to her word. She bought us a car. I drove us to worship God at the Elba church of Christ. Daddy called us hypocrites and tried to discourage us.

Three years later Daddy got sick and was hospitalized. The doctor told him he had to give up drinking if he wanted to live. Daddy gave up his drinking and asked if he could go to worship with us the next Sunday. We wouldn’t have thought of telling him he couldn’t go with us. I remember the Sunday well. When the invitation was being given, I looked over and saw my Daddy walking down the church aisle. He confessed living in sin 30 years. I knew 20 of those years at that time. Daddy stopped drinking and smoking at the same time. He later became a Deacon in the church and was faithful until his death at 78 years of age.

The story is longer and more detailed than this, but my point is Daddy gave Mama the greatest gift he could have ever given her on that day. He gave her the peace of knowing that he was a Christian, and he faithfully served God the rest of his life.

I like to think about heaven and going there one day. I like to think about the people in the Bible who will be there, and what it will be like to talk with them. But, I look forward to seeing Mama and Daddy again. I look forward to seeing Mama’s parents and maybe all of her siblings.

Yes, Daddy gave mother a wonderful gift when he rededicated his life and gave up his sinful life for a far better one in Christ. I suppose there just couldn’t be a better gift to give anyone at anytime of the year.

#christian-living, #life

What does the Bible say about a Christian’s conduct

By Douglas M. Williams Sr

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but was in all point tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15; Matthew 4:1-11).

“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:21-22).

“And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5).

“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12).

When we have a question about something, we should think about ‘what would Jesus do?’ We have seen the letter WWJD written on different places.

The above verses show us the perfect example of Jesus; how we are to follow Him; and always practice the golden rule.

Consider the following guidelines when deciding if something is right or wrong:

  1. The Personal Text: Will doing this make me a better or worse Christian?
  2. The Social Test: Will doing this influence others to be a better or worse Christian?
  3. The Practical Test: Will the results of my doing this be desirable?
  4. The Universal Test: If everyone should do this, would it improve or degrade society?
  5. The Scriptural Test: Does the Bible endorse it, or is it expressly forbidden by the word of God?

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

“Prove all things, hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).                                       


#bible-study, #christian-living, #conduct

It’s the right thing to do

When mother passed away on a Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m., 2014, my brother Hoyt and his wife came the next day. I said, ‘Oh, you came today?” He replied, “It was the right thing to do.” They lived 60 miles or so away, and I thought they might wait to come to the viewing the next day, but they came earlier and it surprised me. But, as he said for them it was the right thing to do. I was thinking of that earlier and how we are confronted with choices in life whether we can choose the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do. For example:

If a person drops some money in front of you at the grocery store, would it be the right thing to grab it fast and say, “Finders keepers, losers weepers…it’s mine now,” or hand it back to them?

If a shopping cart is left out in the open at Walmart or the grocery store, etc., would it be the right thing to do to pass it by or stop and roll it into the store with you placing it in the proper place or using it?

If you find a person’s personal belongings in a shopping cart, would it be the right thing to do to turn it into the store’s lost and found department or find the proper owner if it is identifiable?

If trash has been dropped on the ground and you have to walk past or over it, would it be the right thing to do to pick it up and place it in a garbage container nearer the store or just leave it alone?

If a person at a checkout lacks a bit of change having the amount needed to pay for her items and you know you have it in your pocket/purse, would it be the right thing to do to offer to make up the difference or just say “that’s her problem?”

We make lots of choices in this life. Many have been hurt by people not doing the right thing in certain situations. Dr. Johnny Long told the Troy University band members, “The successful person picks up the paper on the sidewalk.” I suggest the successful person is the one who does the right thing always! We learned it in elementary school as, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That’s Bible teaching.

Lord, help us always to do the right thing. In Christ name, Amen.


Roger Jackson, Gospel Preacher, Needs Help

Roger Jackson, 74, has preached the gospel of Christ 50 years, often too sick to preach but pressing on. He is a 1970 graduate of the Memphis School of Preaching. Roger and the former Judy Vinson, pictured here in younger years, will be married 56 years on October 3. Today Roger is a very sick man, and he and Judy are struggling financially and need help.

Roger’s preaching career ended in 2019 when he became sick with what they thought was heart problems. He had breathing problems which concerned members of the church where he worked, but he kept trying to do the work he loved.

In October 2019 Roger spent a week in Madison, AL hospital, but was able to continue trying to preach. He only grew worse physically.

December 22, 2019, Roger preached his last sermon. On the following Monday he was taken to Huntsville Hospital where he stayed until January 4. A bone marrow test was performed on him where it was discovered he had pre-leukemia or MDS. Doctors also found his aorta value had stenosis in it, and his diabetes was out of control. Added to that, he had an enlarged prostate. Doctors exclaimed, “He is complicated.”

Roger began chemo treatments in January 2020 by a series of shots once a month, blood test, transfusion for low blood cell, and platelets. Insulin needed for his diabetes is very costly and insurance only covers a small portion of it.

In March 2020, Roger spent 12 days in the hospital with type B flu and pneumonia. Again from June 8-22, Roger suffered with aspiration pneumonia, histoplasmosis pneumonia, UTI, and breathing issues. Though he has been under home health care, his lungs appear almost clear now.

Roger is weak all the time. He is scheduled for another bone marrow test and prostrate procedure this month. Doctors then hope to replace his heart valve.

The Jacksons only income is two small social security checks. Their sicknesses necessitated them starting to draw Social Security at the age of 62. Neither Roger or Judy are able to work now due to their health issues, plus Roger needs Judy to help with his care. They have depended on the goodness of others from time to time, but credit cards have been relied on heavily just to get by. They are struggling financially and need the help of their fellow Christians.

Churches or individuals who are moved to help this deserving family may send checks earmarked for Roger Jackson to the Elkmont church of Christ, 18955 Upper Fork Hampton Road, Elkmont, Alabama 35620, where Steve Ferguson is the Minister. A PayPal account can be accessed by the name:, or gifts may be sent directly to their home address: 1802 1/2 W. Market Street, Athens, AL 35611.

God bless you all.

#christian-living, #christianity, #news

I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.

The editorial in the local paper said he was 30 years old, lived in Texas, and went to a “Covid party.” He died after being infected with the virus. The article continued with “Just before he died, he told his nurse: ‘I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.’” The editor continued as he encouraged people to be safe, wear a mask and wash hands…regularly!

“I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.” There’s a lesson to be gained by the young man’s statement both physically and spiritually. I wonder when we are standing at the entrance of death’s door if we will be faced with the same thought. Imagine with me…

I think I made a mistake. I thought the idea of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were a hoax.

I think I made a mistake. I thought the idea of an antiquated book called the Bible was out-of-date. I scoffed at the idea and thought it was a hoax.

I think I made a mistake. I thought the idea of being baptized for the remission of sins was a hoax, and flipped the idea away.

I think I made a mistake. I thought the idea of attending the services of the church faithfully was a hoax.

I think I made a mistake. I thought the idea of serving the Lord while I was young was a hoax.” I thought I had plenty of time and would sow my wild oats before giving my life to the Lord.

I think I made a mistake. I thought the Lord’s example of taking the Lord’s supper every first day of the week was not something He meant EVERY week and necessary.

I think I made a mistake. I thought giving on the first day of the week as I had been prospered was a hoax, and just so I dropped in a dollar on Easter Sunday or Christmas when visiting my family would be enough.

I think I made a mistake. I thought His teaching about going into all the world and teaching others was a hoax and meant for preachers and others but not for me.

I think I made a mistake. I thought His example of loving your neighbor was a hoax and meant for my neighbors but not for me.

I think I made a mistake. I thought His teaching on praying all the time was a hoax but just for times when I was really in desperate need.

I think I made a mistake. I thought His teaching on Bible study was a hoax and just for preachers but not for me.

At death our history is written. All that we can do has been done. It is finished. The saddest thought we could ever have at that time is to say, “I think I made a mistake. I thought the Bible was a hoax, but it’s not.” It would be great if wearing a mask and washing our hands regularly could right the mistake but only the blood of Jesus can do that. Now is the time to make sure our life is not a mistake when our last breath is about to be taken. Christianity is not a hoax

#christian-living, #faith

Inviting people

Years and years ago Doug and I attended a gospel meeting at the Luverne church of Christ in Luverne, AL and heard brother Mid McKnight preaching in a Gospel Meeting. He was talking about inviting people to the services of the church. He mentioned that there might be someone we have invited to church over and over again and they never would come. He said, “On the day of judgement they will wish you had invited them just one more time.”

A friend of mine gave a tract, “Searching for the Lord’s Church” by David Sain to her friend recently. Her friend read it and said she agreed with everything in it except about baptism. She said she doesn’t believe you have to be baptized to be saved. That disturbed my friend because she loves her friend very much. I tried to comfort her with, “(Name withheld), all we are asked to do is present the gospel to people. What they do with it is in their hands.” She put the gospel in her friend’s hands. She did what she could.

Nothing is sweeter than seeing an older couple lead their mate to the Lord, whether it is by the way they have lived before them or by a simple study of the Word of God. And then I have found it interesting to hear what people say after becoming a Christian or after coming up out of the waters of baptism. One lady exclaimed, “Praise the Lord!.” loudly.  A man recently said, “I should have done this a long time ago. I kept my first wife from going to church.”

It is a joyful thing to realize you have played a part in someone becoming a Christian. No doubt many have led others to Christ and never realized it was because of them that someone became a Christian.

Nothing is sadder than thinking that on the day of judgement someone might turn to us and say, “You never mentioned Him to me.” How sad.

So I pose the question to each of us: Are we doing what we can to lead others to Christ whether it be our family, loved ones, or friends?

Use us up in your service, Lord. Use us up.

#christian-living, #evangelism

He carries that weight with him all the time

Tears filled my eyes as I looked into the eyes of a dear friend from long ago. “Where is the lady youbrought to the church?” I asked. She told me and then said, “But it is my husband I’m concerned about.” I asked for more information and she shared how he had become a Christian a few years back. She said he reads his Bible for hours at a time, and worries about all the years he didn’t attend church, wasn’t a Christian, when they were raising their two children. “He carries that weight with him all the time,” she said.

I asked about their grown children and she said the girl attends services but their son doesn’t come at all. The strain in her voice as she talked about their precious children told me she also carries the weight as she recalls the years she begged her husband to come to church with her. We were there. We knew what was going on but he was too busy with his work and fun times to consider living for the Lord. She came. She was faithful, but the children needed their daddy to come also. They needed his example. “The best example for a child is the same sex parent,” Dr. Phil McGraw always says. Their daughter is faithful and their son is not. 

Guilt. Webster states guilt is a sense of having committed a wrong. No doubt God has forgiven this father for his sins but he is having trouble forgiving himself. “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).

When a baby is born into a family that child deserves to be pointed toward heaven by the teaching of the parents. They are to be loved and molded into a person devoted to God. Parents are to “train up a child in the way it should go,” as the Bible states. Too often young people have not been taught the direction themselves and have nothing to offer in teaching their own offspring. Thanks be to God that this Christian woman set the example before her husband and was faithful, and by her example he became a Christian. 

Tears filled my eyes as I remembered those years and thought of her faithfulness and the good she has done. I held her and said, “Pray. There is power in prayer.” I hope they are both praying for the return of their wayward son and somehow God will remove the guilt that his daddy is carrying all the time.

#christian-living, #guilt

Remembering Daddy on Father’s Day

Let me tell you about my daddy. Today is Father’s Day and naturally, I am thinking of him.

A year before Douglas and I married, Daddy was restored to the church asking for forgiveness. He stated he had lived in sin for 30 years. I was 21 or so at the time, so this decision really made our house a home. (Thanks, Raymond Elliott for your part in this decision.)

Daddy stopped drinking, smoking and cursing at that time. He laid it all down. I know it can be done because my Daddy did it. He later became a Deacon in the Elba Church of Christ.

Mother worked at the Kinston Sewing Factory and on her meager salary of about $75 every two weeks, she purchased suits, ties, and white shirts for her man. Mama bought Daddy those pre-tied ties. She was a smart shopper.

Daddy loved to dress up and go to church. They were always early. Mama all but begged Daddy to change his clothes on Sundays when they got home from worship so he wouldn’t “mess his best clothes up,” but Daddy wouldn’t do it. He wanted to stay dressed up. That way he would be ready to go back for the evening service.

During the week Daddy wore a cap with overalls. You see, he was a carpenter by trade, but on Sunday it was a different story. Daddy liked to “dress up” and go to worship. Daddy was faithful as long as he lived after making that important decision in his life. Oh what a joyful peace that gives me. I love to think of Daddy and look forward to seeing him again one day. What a day of rejoicing that will be.

#christian-living, #obedience

Changing One’s Life

This past week our son Art spoke to the students in a ministry outreach program designed to help them overcome their troubled past. During the course of his visit, one of the program directors told him an unforgettable story about one of the current students in the program:

He must have been approaching 40 years of age but had led a troubled life. He found himself in a program to help people to give them another chance at life.

The story goes that he was standing outside the facility with another person in the program. It was lunchtime. The other fellow said, “Come on. Let’s go break into some cars.” At that moment the young man took a stand. He said, “No. I’m going to change my life,” and he turned and walked back inside through the door.

Changing one’s life takes making a change or transforming for the better. Repenting is what the Bible calls it. Changing the direction you are going from one bad way to a better way.

Changing one’s life takes making a commitment. It can be made quickly or over a period of time but it takes hanging in there until the goal is reached. It is possible to change by being committed to the plan and by taking a stand.

Changing one’s life takes determination. Determination drives the world. People who are determined to make adjustments and work through the changes that need to be made to better their lives.

The young man who left at the lunch hour to “go break into some cars” lost his place in the program and was not allowed to come back. He missed that opportunity to change his life for the better. On the other hand, the young man who stayed pressed on toward his goal of changing his life.

Each day we have to make a commitment whether to do right or wrong in the things we face. It may be whether or not to join in gossip we hear, tell a “little white lie,” go somewhere we shouldn’t go, partake in some sinful habit, associating with the wrong people, say something we shouldn’t say, or countless other things. We must take a stand with Joshua of old who said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Every day we can start anew as Christians, children of God. We can change our life for the better like the young man above. We must do it if we hope to live in heaven one day.


Spoiling out mistakes

Mama always “spoiled out” her mistakes.

Through my years at home I noticed when mother wrote something down wrong and wanted to correct it, she would say, “I’ll spoil it out.” Immediately she would turn the pencil eraser over, sometimes lick it, and start erasing her mistake. I never understood the licking part. It may have been a habit. I don’t know.

I was just thinking about spoiling out our mistakes. It’s hard to spoil out (erase) if we have written with an ink pen. I think few people use pencils anymore to write, though I’m not sure of that. Let’s think about things we can spoil out, or erase. Continue reading

#christian-living, #practical-lessons

Is there a church of Christ in this town

We enjoyed our trip to visit our daughter and her family in Ridgeland, MS this past week. On our way home we stopped at The Dinner Bell restaurant in Waynesboro, MS, to have lunch. Let me say it wasn’t a disappointment. 

I asked the waitress near the end of our visit, “Is there a church of Christ here?” She looked around and I could tell she didn’t know. She did the next best thing, she asked a man seated right behind me. “Yes,” he replied firmly as if she certainly should know. He continued, “It is right up here on highway 45.” I didn’t ask any further questions but found the conversation very interesting. Continue reading

#christian-living, #church, #church-of-christ