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.

#christian-living

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

June 2018 Issue of Christian Worker (Sin and Salvation: Part 2)

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

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Dead to Sin, Alive to God (Tom Wacaster)
  • Jesus: The Sinless Sacrifice (Cody Westbrook)
  • The Joy of Forgiveness (Logan Summers)
  • Soberly, Righteously, Godly (Tim Ayers)
  • Heaven, the Home of the Saved (Mike Bonner)
  • Responding to Heaven’s Invitation (Russell M. Kline)
  • To Seek and Save the Lost (John Grubb)

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 © 2018 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#christian-living, #christian-worker, #forgiveness, #heaven, #jesus, #obedience-to-god, #salvation, #sin

Hugh’s News & Views (Forty Things . . . Christian Living)

FORTY THINGS WE ALL NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CHRISTIAN LIVING

The followers of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch (in Syria) in c. A.D. 41-43 (Acts 11:26). By the preaching of the apostle Paul, Agrippa, a Jewish king, was almost persuaded to be a Christian (Acts 26:28). The apostle Peter said, “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter/name” (I Peter 4:16[NKJV; cf. ASV]). Continue reading

#christian-living, #hughfulford

Deteriorating houses, barns, bodies, and souls

I have been noticing lately old barns and houses that are no longer being used and how they are deteriorating. It’s sad seeing an empty house that reminds me of an aunt and uncle who used to live in a house just like it and to see it falling apart. Or to see an empty barn no longer being used that reminds me of the times I shucked corn to be taken to the mill. These things will finally fall, the area will be cleaned up, and something new and more up-to-date will stand in its place. The old will soon be forgotten as if they were never even there. If no one lives there to care for these places they will soon be gone. They have to be restored or repaired regularly to continue to be useful. Continue reading

#christian-living, #practical-lessons

June 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Philippians Chapter 1)

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

Here are the topics you will find:

  • A Harmonious Congregation (Kevin W. Rhodes)
  • I Thank My God Upon Every Remembrance… (Cody Westbrook)
  • Let Love Abound (Mike Vestal)
  • Christ Is Preached, So I Rejoice! (Stephen Wiggins)
  • To Live is Christ and to Die is Gain (Randy Robinson)
  • Paul’s Plea (Dave Rogers)

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.

#apostle-paul, #christian-living, #christian-worker, #fellowship, #love, #philippians, #preaching-christ, #spiritual-examples

Be of good courage

Via Audio Evangelism:

I once read about a man who bragged about cutting off a lion’s tail with his pocketknife. Sounds pretty courageous, doesn’t it? Do you think you could do that? Of course, someone finally asked the man why he didn’t cut the lion’s head off, and he replied that someone had already done that! What initially sounded like a very courageous act really wasn’t anything at all–the lion was already dead!

Today, I’d like us to focus our attention on the subject of courage–genuine courage–specifically as it relates to living the Christian life. First, we need to remember that… (click here to continue reading the post.)

#audio-evangelism, #bible-characters, #christian-living, #courage

Helping Christian Public School Teachers “Be Ready” (Apologetics Press)

At a recent Apologetics Press speaking engagement, a Christian public school teacher related to me some distressing news about happenings at the elementary school where she teaches. She explained that reading is heavily emphasized, which is a good thing. However, because the students are being required to read so much material each month and take computer tests over the material they are reading, the students are running across more evolutionary propaganda in their school libraries: especially false teaching about dinosaurs, the evolutionary origin of mankind, and the Big Bang theory.  Read >>

#christian-living, #dinosaurs, #evolution, #public-school, #resource, #school-system, #school-teacher

The Benefits of Christianity–Audio Lesson

Many reject Christianity, because they see it as too restrictive. The Bible, to them, is a big book filled with rules and regulations that have no apparent reason other than to make humans unhappy. In truth, Christianity is able to yield a depth of happiness and peace that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. Listen >>

#apologetics-press, #audio-lessons, #christian-living, #christianity, #reason-for-being-a-christian

Where walking with God leads to

Walking with God…I think I know someone with a blog by that name.

Anyways, despite the realities of the green grass and still waters of Psalm 23, walking with God is anything but a leisurely stroll through the park. It can very well lead to the via dolorosa.

That is why walking with God takes faith, conviction of heart, humility, devotion, self-denial and self-control.

Walking with God led to Enoch being translated into Heaven (Genesis 5:24), walking with God is what separated Noah from his generation (Genesis 6:9), and walking with God is what led to Abraham blessing his descendants (Genesis 24:40).

As a matter of fact, it’s only our walk with God that will cause us to bless others and be distinguished from this world and ultimately leave it to be with God just like Abraham, Noah and Enoch. So it’s worth our time to pay attention to how these three walked with God.

Did you walk with God yesterday? Do you plan on walking with him today?

The Bible clearly teaches where waking with God leads to, and that leaves a pretty clear picture of where standing still will get us.

Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” (Revelation 3:3-5)

#christian-living, #religion, #walking-with-god

Interesting take on Matthew 6:33

One of my elders spoke up with an interesting take on Matthew 6:33 last night.

The verse says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

The comment on the verse, or something very very similar to it, was, “The problem is that people think that God should make them number one on his list instead of us making him number one on our list.

The comment is true indeed. Often times, perhaps even in our own mirror, it’s not very hard to see people who think that God should “drop everything” for them without the individual having any interest in picking up a single cross for Christ (Matthew 10:37-38).

Seeking God’s kingdom and his righteousness is truly a mighty call from the highest points of Heaven that still finds its way into the deepest valleys of the Earth. It’s a call that urges us as followers to find ways to put God and his ways first in our life. It’s a call for priority. And that means it’s a call that distinguishes the difference between what we believe God owes us and what we owe God.

Before I finish my thought I want quickly point out that it is God indeed who has taken the first step in every way that’s needed to secure a right relationship with him (Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:19). But to say that no reaction from our side of the relationship is needed misses the point of a relationship…especially when it comes to the Lord and disciple variety (Luke 6:46-49).

#christian-living, #priorities, #seeking-god