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  • J. Randal Matheny 8:07 am on 2017-03-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , courage, divine protection,   

    God protects his own 

    A great lesson in Matthew 2 is that God protects his own. The Lord frustrated Herod’s attempts to kill the newborn Jesus.

    He warned the wise men by means of a dream not to return to Herod, but to go back by another way. “But God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they returned to their country on a different road” Mt 2.12 NIRV.

    The Lord’s angel also appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to flee to Egypt, in order to get away from Herod, Mt 2.13. (More …)

  • TFRStaff 6:14 am on 2016-08-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , courage   

    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.)

  • TFRStaff 6:29 am on 2014-08-21 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , courage, , , , , , , , Timeless,   

    August 2014 Issue of Christian Worker 

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

    Here are the topics that you will find:

    • What Is Marriage? What Constitutes Marriage? (Robert R. Taylor, Jr)
    • Has the Kingdom Come? (Sam Willcut)
    • “Buy the Truth and Sell It Not” (Royce Williamson)
    • Watching the Pendulum (Glenn Colley)
    • “Living Oracles” (Mel Futrell)
    • Some Things Must Never Change (Jeff Jenkins)
    • Is It Nothing to You? (Alan Highers)
    • Behind Closed Doors (Steve Higginbotham)

    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…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

    Copyright © 2014 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

  • Joshua Gulley 12:11 pm on 2013-11-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , courage, , , John 9,   

    One Thing I Do Know 

    In John 9, Jesus heals a blind man on the Sabbath Day. Since he had been blind since birth, what a joyous, life-changing moment this must have been, right? But unfortunately, one of the first things his newly functioning eyes witnessed was Pharisees descending upon him like hounds on a trapped coon. They had an agenda and the man and his parents knew it, so they felt like they were walking on thin ice answering their questions. To them, this wonderful gift of sight from Jesus may have appeared to be a curse at first. Typical of life–when you obtain something worth rejoicing about, there’s somebody there trying to drain all the joy out of it for you.

    About the 4th time they came to him asking him what happened, they began basically by trying to bully him into calling Jesus a sinner. His response is one of my favorite verses. It was profound in its simplicity: “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” He didn’t yet know that Jesus was the Messiah; he hadn’t been told much about Jesus at all, and he didn’t go trying to fabricate an answer. He just told them what he knew, which was enough for both parties to make a choice. Might we learn from this that we don’t have to be experts before we tell people about Jesus.

    Lord, thank You for providing the account of Jesus and this blind man. Grant us the integrity to admit what we don’t know, the courage to speak what we do, and the wisdom to let the truth guide our thoughts, words, and actions.

  • TFRStaff 10:53 am on 2013-07-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: courage,   

    Queen Esther and Brusselsprouts 

    ===== Thursday’s Thought For The Day (July 11, 2013) =====


    The young people in one church had been studying the Book of Esther. It was obviously that one boy had been paying attention when his family had Brussels sprouts for supper. Spearing one and looking at it distastefully, he placed it in his mouth, saying, “If I perish, I perish.”

    The story of Esther is one of the greatest stories of courage in the Bible.

    When Mordecai realized that there was a plot to kill the Jews in Persia, he saw only one possibility to save them, and that was through Esther. He asked Esther to go before the king and request that he rescind the decree and save the Jewish people. But Esther was hesitant to do that because there was a law that said that anyone who went into the king’s court without an invitation could be put to death, and she hadn’t been invited for a month!

    Mordecai sent another message to Esther that said, in effect, “Think, Esther. The decree says all Jews. It doesn’t exclude anybody in the king’s household. You are a Jew and that means you’ve already been condemned to death. If the king receives you, you’ve got a chance. But even if he doesn’t, you’re no worse off.”

    One of the most powerful verses in all the Bible is found in verse 14. It’s a question that I believe every Christian should ask himself when he’s facing a difficult situation: “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

    “Esther, have you ever thought that maybe this is the reason why God put you in the position of being queen? Did you think he did it just so you could have an easy life? This is the reason God has brought you where you are. Your presence in the palace is not by accident but by divine appointment.”

    The time had come for Esther to make a choice. She could approach the king and possibly lose her life, or she could remain silent and allow the annihilation of herself and her people. She decided to stand for what was right. And with the heroic words, “If I perish, I perish!” (4:16), she went to the king.

    Has God put you in a position to make a difference to the people around you? Like Esther, will you have the courage to respond, regardless of what the consequences may be?

    Have a great day!

    Alan Smith
    Helen Street Church of Christ
    Fayetteville, North Carolina

    To subscribe to “Thought For the Day,” send a blank email to join-thought-for-the-day@hub.xc.org

    • Gene 11:51 am on 2013-07-11 Permalink | Reply

      I blogged about this exact thing today! Thought of it while watching the movie “Brave”. Good encouragement.

  • TFRStaff 7:42 am on 2013-02-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: courage, , ,   

    Jeremiah Tries To Save His People 

    This month has been about courageous love. We have tried to connect the fact that when we love, we are compelled to have the courage to risk ourselves for the benefit of those we love.

    Christ’s entire ministry was conducted with the risk (certainty in His case) that his loving but courageously firm actions would lead to his death. That death was for the world, yet would only spiritually benefit the few who would take advantage of it.

    Our text for today is Jeremiah 36:1-32. God had warned Jeremiah that his work and teaching would not be well received. In Jeremiah 1:10 that he would root out, pull down, destroy and throw down before he could build up and plant. Knowing his work would not be well received, the Lord told him in Jeremiah 1:16 to “gird up thy loins, speak what I command thee and be not dismayed at their faces…”

    There was no question about the courage of Jeremiah as he carried out the work of the Lord which led to his imprisonment (Jer. 37:4), his forced removal from Jerusalem and some scholars say that he died at the hands of his brethren.

    What I am interested in is the love of Jeremiah for these people who treated him so badly.

    As his love led him to pray on their behalf, God told him not to pray for this people (Jer. 14:11). As he sent the scroll to be read that would send him to prison, his thought was that it might bring them to repentance (Jer. 1:7).

    Brothers and sisters, courageous love does the difficult work of the Lord with the prayer and hope that it will bring men to repentance. Whether we are teaching the lost, restoring the erring or disciplining the rebellious, our love and courage go together.

    Mike Glenn

  • TFRStaff 10:11 am on 2013-01-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , courage, ,   

    Courageous Abigail 

    The story of Abigail recorded in 1 Samuel 25:1-44 is shared with many children because of her courage and loyalty to her husband. I think that there might be one or two items we can learn about courageous love from this event.

    • Love is not always about a good feeling, but it is always about commitment. Apparently, Nabal was not a man who evoked good feelings toward himself from others. It seems that he was crude, self-centered, and inhospitable. Yet, Abigail, as his wife, kept her commitment to his well-being. Courageous love reaches out and is persistent in striving to do the best even when the recipient of that love does nothing to deserve such care or compassion.

    • A second thing we learn here is that courageous love acts without hesitation. When we have chosen to love, that commitment becomes part of us. Our mind, emotions, and body, without a second thought, move to perform whatever action is needed. Jesus died for us in anticipation of the our salvation (Heb. 12:2-3).

    • A third lesson is that courageous love does not consider self when others have a need. Abigail had no certainty that David would respond graciously to her pleas. She was willing to sacrifice herself in her efforts. When we act with such love to defend God’s people, or to teach the lost, we do not know the reaction we may receive. But we are willing to accept the possible consequences in order to achieve the right. Jesus taught this very idea in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5:10-12).

    Let’s each of determine to have courageous love. The wounds from a friend are true and faithful.

    Sent by email today from Mike Glenn, in his series for youth

    • John T. Polk II 11:05 am on 2013-01-22 Permalink | Reply

      A question: How do such a wonderful woman (beautiful inside and out) become married to such a rotten fellow? I will accept co-authorship with anyone who has the answer in writing a book explaining this. This should put all men who are married to wonderful Christian wives on notice to ask the question: Is it I?

  • TFRStaff 4:45 am on 2012-09-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: courage, , , perserverance,   

    Stick your neck out 

    He was told that if he hadn’t written a book by the age of 35, chances were that he never would– and he was almost 40! He was warned that short stories weren’t popular or considered for top prizes– yet his won the Pulitzer Prize! Hollywood told him his book held no dramatic possibilities and Broadway said it would never make a good musical.

    Would you have given up? Would you have washed the whole idea right out of your hair? Or would you have hung in there and written Tales of the South Pacific as James Michener did?

    It’s easy to be negative. It’s easy to criticize and say “Here’s what might go wrong.” But positive people and dreamers accomplish “miracles”. They persevere. They overcome the challenges (what some call “problems”).

    I once read of a college president who had a plaque on his desk that read: “Behold the turtle. He never makes any progress unless he sticks his neck out.”

    The next time you feel challenged say ‘yes’. The next time God gives you a dream, go for it! “Stick your neck out” for Jesus and the Kingdom of God! The next time may be your last opportunity to glorify God – not because you have lots of courage, but because you can still trust Him.

    –Edited from an article by Dan Skaggs

    Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

    “Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

  • Richard Mansel 10:36 am on 2011-07-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: courage, , ,   

    Politics Versus Reality and Christianity 

    Dr. Thomas Sowell has another masterful column about politics and the economy today. He makes more salient points that Americans need to consider. His premise is that we cannot use reality to understand politicians, because they most often act contrary to all normal conventions.

    He writes:

    It is hard to understand politics if you are hung up on reality. Politicians leave reality to others. What matters in politics is what you can get the voters to believe, whether it bears any resemblance to reality or not.

    Not only among politicians, but also among much of the media, and even among some of the public, the quest is not for truth about reality but for talking points that fit a vision or advance an agenda. Some seem to see it as a personal contest about who is best at fencing with words.

    He discusses some examples such as taxes on the rich. There is solid, verifiable proof of what happens when you cut taxes or raise taxes on the rich. Yet, Sowell writes, they do not care at all about these statistics, only their talking points. If it doesn’t fit the script, it must go. They must always choose emotion/popularity over reason and facts.

    I realized that this is a good way to understand the current state of Christianity in America. Those who falsely call themselves Christians have their own talking points and they will push them with all of their abilities. If they conflict with what Scripture says, they will choose emotion/popularity every time.

    For example, there is not one example or iota of proof in the New Testament that infant baptism is Scriptural. Yet, millions persist in this doctrine out of tradition. They get angry if you point out their fallacy and treat you like you are a heathen. They can’t allow facts to get in the way.

    On so many doctrines, the will of God –like the will of the people to politicians–carry no weight when compared to popularity and filling their coffers –or getting re-elected.

    We just have to continue to study and proclaim the Word (2 Timothy 4:2) and stand for truth in every way. We cannot succumb to the fleshly ideal that man’s will trumps God’s because we can’t bear to face the former.

    Let us ALWAYS exist in the reality that God’s will is the only one that matters. Outside of His reality, there is only fantasy and death. Only in Christ will we find life and truth (John 10:10).

    • Rick Kelley 12:09 pm on 2011-07-05 Permalink | Reply

      Great thoughts!

    • Mike Riley 1:26 pm on 2011-07-05 Permalink | Reply

      Dr. Sowell’s premise is “right on!”

      “We cannot use reality to understand politicians, because they most often act contrary to all normal conventions.”

      When you have an “agenda” of furthering your own philosophies, ideologies and bank account, you will more than likely “act contrary to all normal conventions.”

      A liar and thief doesn’t possess any “normal conventions” of morality.

    • Mitchell 11:06 pm on 2011-07-05 Permalink | Reply

      I agree, I mainly blame the media for out current political climate. They are the filters for which we get most of the information about politicians and policies, etc.

  • J. Randal Matheny 5:20 am on 2011-04-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: courage, , , religious conflicts   

    Daily Nudge: your persecution 

    Maybe we’re asking for a bunch of no-replies today, we’ll see. Have you ever been persecuted, or otherwise made fun of, because of your faith? Tell us about it, what happened, the situation, what you were doing.

    Persecution is the norm in some places, happens on and off in others, but in some places, hardly at all.

    Jesus said it would happen, Paul, too, not necessarily from governments, but from family. Then, let’s not forget persecution from religious people. Yes, it happened then, too. At the beginning of the Way, the Jews persecuted Christians.

    The subject is on my mind, since we read Acts 7 yesterday, and are to read Acts 8 today.

    I do not pray that God will spare you. I pray he will give you strength and courage to continue doing his will and evangelizing in the midst of it.

  • TFRStaff 4:16 am on 2011-03-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: courage, , ,   

    TFT: Definitions of Courage 

    Definitions of Courage

    Courage is enduring
    For just one minute longer,
    Courage is just holding on,
    Though others may be stronger.

    Courage is a grappling hand
    When dreams we’ve had are fading,
    Courage is just keeping on
    Enheartening and persuading.

    Courage is a certain faith
    Expressed in act heroic,
    Something deeper, deeper still
    Than simply being stoic.

    Courage is a sensing
    Of our destiny, a tightening
    of the belt of circumstance,
    Though all its face be frightening.

    Courage is a midnight song
    Through the deep darkness singing,
    ‘Til the music born of faith
    Sets all life’s rafters ringing.

    Courage is a sensing
    That in spite of pain and sorrow,
    God will see us through today
    And meet our needs tomorrow.

    –Ruth Winant Wheeler

    “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart…” Psalm 27:14a

    “Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn Hitchcock

  • Richard Hill 10:51 pm on 2011-02-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: camel hair, courage, , , locust   

    Camels, Locusts, and Honey, Oh My! 

    What did this prophet look like? Just how uncomfortable was camel hair clothing as he wandered around those deserted areas? I’ve eaten bugs before, but they were chocolate-covered. Even with that sweet coating they weren’t great. Locusts definitely don’t sound very appetizing. Maybe if you dip them in honey. . .

    Initially, people may have been drawn to see him because of his quirks. I believe what kept them coming back was yet another unique trait. This great man of God did not adjust his message to please his audience. He simply told them what they needed to hear. That alone distinguishes him from the pack.

    God give us more men with the courage of John!

  • John Henson 12:38 pm on 2010-08-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: courage,   

    What is courage? 

    Doris Miller was born in Waco, Texas in 1919 and would become an incredible example of courage.

    He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1939 and was on the USS West Virginia the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. His main job was as a cook, but Miller was also the heavyweight boxing champion of the fleet. Miller was doing laundry when the general quarters alarm was sounded. He reported to his combat station, only to find the anti-aircraft gun to which he was assigned had been destroyed.

    After caring for the dying captain of the ship, Miller found a .50-caliber Browning anti-aircraft gun and fired on Japanese planes until the ammunition was depleted. For his heroic action, he was awarded the Navy Cross by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz on May 27, 1942. Miller was killed-in-action later in the war.

    Certainly, Miller didn’t know that day what would happen or what role he would play. To his credit, he didn’t run. Instead, he took the closest available weapon and fought back in the face of incredible fire and possible loss of life. This is the courage for which our country awards its medals. Miller had to be frightened, but wouldn’t quit.

    Sometimes, commendable qualities are best defined by example, like Doris Miller. Thomas, usually known in the New Testament as the doubter, is a great Bible example of courage. In John 11:11-16, Jesus announced Lazarus had died. The Lord wanted to return to Bethany, but the disciples sensed danger. They said, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” (John 11:8 ESV).

    It was Thomas who spoke up and said, “Let us go that we may die with him.” It may have been that Thomas was just as afraid as anyone else, but this one, lone voice speaks up to follow Jesus. Thomas knew what was right and was prepared to do it. He moved past his fear by faith in Christ. That is a great definition of courage.

  • Richard Mansel 10:58 am on 2010-08-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: courage, , ,   

    An Unforgettable Story of Faith 

    Mike Brooks has given us an unforgettable story of faith, courage and resolve in Bangladesh. Destitute brethren refuse to back down after their meeting place is repeatedly burned. Read this amazing story and share with others.

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:23 am on 2010-07-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , courage,   

    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

    Martin Luther King Jr.
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