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  • Eugene Adkins 7:45 pm on 2017-03-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Culture, ,   

    Randomly Ordered Thoughts 

    On my way home I noticed the wording on the road-sign for the Church of God. For some in the religious world, the sign made a pretty bold statement. It said, “God’s grace demands right living.” According to the scriptures that statement is doctrinally sound (Titus 2:11-12, Colossians 3:15). See how easy it would be to settle the overwhelming number of divisions that denominationalism has caused if only we would go by the right standard? If it’s true it’s not new!

    From the mouth of babes…I asked my five-year-old daughter yesterday if her ear was sore. She confidently said, “No.” About five seconds later she said, “I don’t even know what sore means.” Ignorance by itself doesn’t get us into trouble as much as ignorance that wants to remain that way (John 9:39-41).

    Men from Mars are chauvinistic. Women from Venus are feminist. Men and women made of the Earth know each are made in the image of God, and God’s image carries with it responsibilities that will outlast fickle times that believe changing the culture equates to changing the truth (Genesis 1:26-27, Ephesians 5:33). (More …)

     
  • TFRStaff 5:52 am on 2016-11-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Culture, , , LGBT   

    Let’s Not Mistake What Some Mean By “Tolerance” by Neal Pollard 

    Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian declared war on establishments which wished to decline services to those of the LGBT community. Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes bakery, were driven out of business by a lawsuit in the wake of their refusal to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. According to Todd Starnes,

    They faced boycotts and picket lines and other wedding vendors were threatened with similar action if they did business with Sweet Cakes. The family’s young children received death threats and the store’s  social networking platforms were overrun by militant LGBT activists posting obscene and profane messages (read here).

    On top of that, they were ordered by the court to pay the couple $135,000 in emotional damages.

    (Click here to read more on Neal’s site)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:09 am on 2016-09-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Culture, , self-worth   

    Children need to be taught they are worth something 

    If you teach a child they’re no more than an evolved animal, then don’t be surprised when they act like nothing more than an animal.

    Children need to be taught they’re life is valuable. Children need to be taught they’re more than an animal. Children need to be taught they have a soul that distinguishes them from the animal world.

    When these things are taught, then, and only then can we expect them to see other people in the same light.

    Until then, children who continue to grow older (which is different from growing-up/maturing) in an amoral home, culture and society will do no more than what an animal naturally does…prey on the weak, take what can be taken, kill for the fun of it, and create offspring instead of a family.

    But perhaps, at the end of the day, acting like an animal is the right and natural thing to do. Because after all, “survival of the fittest” is what got people to where we are right?

    Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 8:26 am on 2016-07-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Culture, generational differences, ,   

    A millennial’s pov on how people view millennials 

    I’m 34 years old. That means I’m at the very, very back-end of the millennial age group…or maybe it’s the front of the line?

    Is indecision a thing about millennials that bothers people?

    Either way, by most people who enjoy categorizing others into demographic pie charts, I’m included in the oft-bemoaned group of today’s up and coming leaders, families, soldiers, work force, business owners, and etc. And to be honest, I get a little tired of everyone incessantly bashing my age group.

    Why’s that? I’d be more than happy to explain with an illustration. (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 5:34 am on 2014-12-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Culture, , ,   

    Wisdom and faithfulness of God amid the challenges 

    We don’t often post editorials over on Brotherhood News. Nor do we often post them on controversial topics, at least, that I recall, nor as lengthy as the one that appears today. So this rare bird might just be worth your while.

    http://brotherhoodnews.com/2014/12/16/culture-brotherhood/

    The Lord’s church is blessed not to be a company, nor to have a hierarchy where men lord it over others, nor even to have means to settle an issue across the brotherhood, but I play with the idea of naming “culture” as the word of the year, as one dictionary publisher has just done.

    The wisdom of God has not lashed us together in such a way that if a few go astray, all sink with them them. What does unite us is the Lord Jesus Christ himself, who is our center and who permeates the whole out to the very edges. So my Forthright Magazine editorial goes, from yesterday.

    http://forthright.net/2014/12/15/jesus-core/

    Our times seem critical, but each age possesses its challenges. I long ago tired of presidential elections touted as being the most important ever, with more at risk than before. Perhaps. Or perhaps it’s a mere election tactic. Let us not fall for our own fearful thoughts that our age is worse and more critical than at any other time in history. Let us meet the progressives and counter as we may their influence, while we rejoice in the faithfulness of God toward his people in this and every age.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:59 am on 2014-09-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: answer to sin, Culture, , Microcosm, , NFL, RG3   

    A microcosm of the larger problem 

    The big football league of America sure seems to be overwhelmed with serious moral issues right now…intentional concussion-giving players included. As far as the bandwagon media attention goes, the flow will soon give way to the ebb, but the issues won’t disappear. And maybe it’s just because the issues revolve around the behaviors and decisions of people (sin and temptation are common problems to athletes and non-athletes, right?), but I can’t help but notice how the football league and its problems look strangely like a perfectly clear microcosm of the larger problem that the American culture is dealing with – namely how do we deal with the obvious errors of humanity.

    For now, like the American culture at large, the response from the professional league has been to deal with the issues from almost a purely punitive aspect – fines, suspensions, and firings, with a little counseling mixed in here and there. But what about the root of the issues? It doesn’t seem to be the love of money because the problems are costing the players that stuff – not making it for them! What it seems to be is a lack of morality and common courtesy. And it seems that the big league is willing to endorse almost any cause other than the one that could and would solve the vast majority (it would be all, but the answer is based upon the application made by each individual) of the issues that are being dealt with today, not to mention the issues that will be dealt with tomorrow; but for now it seems like they’re only willing to throw a penalty flag at someone who is willing to attempt to introduce a new “head-coach” and “play-calling book” that could and would help every party involved.

    Hey, I’m not trying to Monday-morning quarterback here. I just know from experience that when I fail to listen to Jesus, I end up on the bench every time with the decisions that I make; and anybody who has a desire to compete and win knows that sitting on the bench is not where you want to be.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:39 am on 2014-09-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Culture, ,   

    Sowing warped seeds 

    The American culture is severely warped. So warped that it uses children to defend and promote perversity. From homosexual talk-show hosts who bring children onto their set to “come out” on national TV, to TV shows that portray individuals as “minors” who commit fornication and practice homosexuality as if it should be completely acceptable; the media has its target set on the minds of children – and they are hitting the bullseye! Don’t think so? Just read this.

    A culture that destroys the innocent in a plurality of ways is a culture that will die in a plurality of ways; first and foremost, it will begin on a spiritual level, and from there only God knows how far it will fall into depravity with the seeds that have been sown. God takes note of such cultures and sooner or later such cultures will take note of God (just read the three chapters of Nahum).

    When a culture sows warped seeds, there’s no way it can keep from reaping a warped crop.

    But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:55 am on 2014-06-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Culture, ,   

    A Clothing Trend That Just Makes No Sense 

    Buying new clothes that look old. I’m sure other cultures outside of America do the same thing but that still doesn’t make it make any sense!

    “Brand new” pants with holes, cuts, patches, worn patterns and frayed bottoms straight off of the store shelves at prices higher than pants with no defects?!  It’s a second-hand look at souped-up first hand prices. And the same trend can be found with shirts and hats. But I wonder why people don’t buy socks with holes in them? Anyways.

    Want holes in your pants? I know a couple of ways of getting them that are much cheaper:

    • Truth be told, I have a couple of pair of pants with holes in them – but they got that way because I worked in them and now they continue to be my work pants.
    • Actually go to a second-hand store to get the second-hand look.
    • Buy a new pair that’s much cheaper than the fake old pair and give them to someone who needs a new pair of pants and let them wear them out and then bring them back to you a couple of years later.

    I know this may sound like an “old-man” rant, maybe because it is, but how silly can a clothing trend get?

    A culture that can afford to pay more money, and actually makes other people called “clothing designers” very rich while doing so, to get an impoverished look with their clothing is a culture that has more dollars than sense.

    But hey, dressing up the outside with clothing that’s deceptive isn’t anything new is it?

    Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)

     
    • James Randal 6:58 am on 2014-06-05 Permalink | Reply

      The vanity observed by the wise Preacher shows its face again. If I can get out a Corollaries today, I mention shopping malls. …

      • Eugene Adkins 7:00 am on 2014-06-05 Permalink | Reply

        Just make sure you quadruple your prices and then send out a mailer advertising a 60% off sale and it’ll do fine.

    • Lois 7:16 am on 2014-06-05 Permalink | Reply

      Good points!! tho I rather see them wear holey jeans than to see them worn half off!!

      • Eugene Adkins 7:21 am on 2014-06-05 Permalink | Reply

        I hear what you’re saying, but it depends on where the holes are at.

        Thanks for commenting, Lois.

    • camerondgoodwin23 12:27 pm on 2014-06-05 Permalink | Reply

      Hi! I really like your post. I’m Cameron and I’m very interested in fashion. I think you would enjoy my posts; I would really appreciate a follow back! Thanks!

      • Eugene Adkins 6:31 am on 2014-06-06 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for commenting, Cameron. I’m not that interested in fashion though. Only to the extent that it fits into a faith-based world view. Sorry. But I hope to see you around here more often, although fashion may not come up very much, unless it does so from a biblical stand point. You never know though. Again, thanks for taking the time to visit here in The Fellowship Room.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:32 am on 2014-02-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Culture, , sensibilities, ,   

    A Broken, Backwards and Outright Busted Clock 

    You know a cultural clock is broken, backwards and outright busted when a sign of the times is made up of heterosexuals who just want to live together and homosexuals who want to get married.

    I believe Isaiah put it best when he recorded the warning that says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

     
  • TFRStaff 11:47 am on 2014-02-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Culture, , , , , ,   

    Strong Marriage – Medicine! 

    The subject of divorce and remarriage is very controversial in our time, but the controversy is by no means a new one. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus picked up the hot potato subject of divorce and addressed it with direct and simple but very sobering words — “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 5:31-32). Space won’t allow an in-depth analysis of this text, but Jesus’ teaching here is augmented by His further teaching later in Matthew 19:1ff. There Pharisees attempted to put Him on the defensive by asking in verse 3, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” As a part of His answer Jesus declared in Matthew 19: 8-9 – “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” Those are strong words about divorce and remarriage! Combined, the two passages emphatically declare only one reason God allows divorce — sexual infidelity by the marriage partner. If a divorce takes place for any other reason and then remarriage follows, all the parties involved commit adultery: the divorce-er, the divorcee, and the one the divorce-er or divorcee remarries. That’s tough marriage-medicine in a me-first world where people want a quick, easy way out of any difficulty and inconvenience that arises, including in marriage.

    Jesus’ words, though not difficult to understand, have proven difficult for many in our divorce-prone, no-fault divorce world to accept, including some in the church. I have read that a friend of W. C. Fields once entered the old comedian’s room to find him reading the Bible. Fields, a self-avowed atheist, was asked what he was doing. Fields quickly shut the Book, and, apparently embarrassed, replied, “Looking for loopholes, just looking for loopholes.” Many people look, and with first one argument and then another, insist they have found a loophole that releases them from the authority of God’s law concerning marriage and divorce. The mental twists and turns people go through bring to mind something I learned from fellow-preacher and friend David Sain. In a sermon I heard David preach, he mentioned a quote people often use regarding different Bible teachings — “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.” But Brother Sain pointed out that saying is incorrect, and went on to proclaim the truth of the matter this way: “God said it….and that settles it!” Whether or not we believe a Bible truth has zero to do with its veracity! A majority of men and women once believed the earth was flat, but that did not make it so. Some in Jesus’ day had relaxed God’s law on marriage and divorce — but Jesus never did. Marriage is sick and getting sicker in our society, and even in the church. The hope for a cure is not in diluting Jesus’ teaching. Let us, at least in the church, take and trust the strong marriage-medicine the Great Physician prescribes.

    Dan Gulley – Smithville Church of Christ

     
    • djo90210 12:12 pm on 2014-02-15 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on Beauty is only skin deep ♥.

    • shepherdguardian 12:13 pm on 2014-02-15 Permalink | Reply

      Dan,
      Please do not read this as trying to be argumentative. I am not.
      I am, however, a licensed counselor who makes every attempt, as I believe you do, to counsel from a Biblical worldview. I have wrestled with this topic so many times.
      Question: what do we say to a spouse who has been physically, emotionally and psychologically abused for many years – who has sought counsel from the Bible, the church, Christian Counselors and secular counselors – and they all say stay in the marriage and work things out. These spouses are being told to stay in horrific abuse.
      I’m just curious about your thoughts. I believe they would be a helpful addition to your post.

      Blessings

      • Eugene Adkins 12:57 pm on 2014-02-15 Permalink | Reply

        “SG”, I will see if I can pass along your question to Dan and in return pass along his response back to you.

      • Eugene Adkins 8:40 pm on 2014-02-19 Permalink | Reply

        “SG”, I got in touch with Dan and here’s his reply:

        “The article “Strong Marriage Medicine” was originally a short bulletin article focusing on one aspect of the marriage / divorce issue.

        Real life cases are often complex and difficult for the people involved. The question of what do we say to a spouse who had been physically, emotionally, and psychologically abused for many years is one I have thought about and been confronted with on a few occasions. That question, too, can be more easy to ask than to address and solve due to the kind and degree of abuse, etc. We know that some people may be just be looking for a way out of the marriage, and having a preacher of counselor okay it helps their cause.

        That being said, I turn quickly to the apostle Paul’s counsel in 1 Corinthians 7, especially vs 10-11. By inspiration he directs Christian husbands and wives not to depart from or divorce their mate, but then goes on to say “even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.” Paul doesn’t address the precise circumstances under which any of this might take place. He just says, “Here is something you ought not to do, but if you do insist on doing it, then follow through this way.”

        I have on a few occasions seen situations so critical a woman (and maybe there are some where men) needed to get away from an abusive husband, and on those occasions I have advised them to do so. But I have never counseled or advised anyone to remarry after doing so, unless there was sexual unfaithfulness involved. Even when there is sexual unfaithfulness, it may be that the best course is to seek reconciliation, if the innocent party can forgive and find a way to reconcile the marriage.

        The issue of whether or not to depart from a spouse because of abuse is really a separate issue and question from the issues addressed by Jesus in such texts as Matthew 5:31-32 and Matthew 19:1-9. I think the church should not be simplistic in advising and counseling spouses, if there is real and sustained abuse, to just “stay in the marriage and work things out.” There were occasions where the apostle Paul removed himself from dangerous and even deadly situations rather than stay and be beaten or even killed. All that having been said, the Lord’s words still indicate the only scriptural reason a person can divorce and then remarry with God’s approval is sexual infidelity on the part of their spouse.

        I know these are tough issues and thorny questions, and I know they involve real people and real lives. I have no desire to come off like a law-giver or a know-it-all. I believe the church must offer support and show compassion to people caught in extreme situations. But in advising them concerning marriage and divorce we have no authority to speak beyond what God has spoken in HIs word.”

        • shepherdguardian 7:42 am on 2014-02-22 Permalink | Reply

          “…in advising them concerning marriage and divorce we have no authority to speak beyond what God has spoken in HIs word.”

          I believe we’re on the same Biblical page and footing.
          Thank you for taking the time to respond as fully as you have.
          If you have the chance take a tour of the site http://cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com/
          They are pretty harsh on the church for not dealing too well with this topic and have additional thoughts about counseling on abuse.

          Blessings

    • familyties8 12:24 pm on 2014-02-15 Permalink | Reply

      I think 1 Corinthians 7: 10-11 gives a woman relief in abuse. God doesn’t leave anything out for us.
      But according to the Bible, if she leaves she must remain unmarried or be reconciled back to him. This is after the church began and they were not under the Law of Moses anymore. “…And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
      11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.”

  • Eugene Adkins 7:00 am on 2014-01-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Culture, ,   

    Bible words that will stay in our Culture 

    Even though the western culture is desperate to get rid of important Bible words like sin, Jesus and judgment there are Bible words that will remain despite the best efforts of some to rid them from our vocabulary.

    For example, a handful of miles away from where I live there is a community called “Goshen.” Now why would a little community in the heart of Tennessee be named after a piece of land in Africa? Read Genesis 45:9-11 to find out.

    For another example, toward the top of the nation there is a prominent city named Saint Paul. Now even though the Beatles (or at least one of them) thought that they were bigger than Jesus, the city up in Minnesota has nothing to do with one of its members. So who is Saint Paul? He’s this guy.

    Another example, and it’s a big one, is our calendar. Yup, I said our calendar. Whenever anyone in the western culture refers to a history timeline, a present date or a future appointment they are using a time line that revolves around the appearance of the Man who doesn’t change with time. And who’s that? He’s the one we mean whenever someone says B.C. and A.D.. And even if one ignores the initials, they can’t ignore the dividing line.

    People can plug their ears, cover their eyes and refuse to speak of the Bible’s purpose or existence, but they won’t be able to ignore the Bible words that remind them that it was and forever will be the God of Heaven who has blessed and shaped our culture. From small communities, to large cities and right down to the dates that they were established, as long as there is a western culture, our culture will depend upon Bible words.

     
    • Scott Shifferd Jr. 9:11 am on 2014-01-30 Permalink | Reply

      I see this too in common vernacular. There are truck ads about going to the extra mile, which is out of context. Every holiday season, I hear numerous news reporters and politicians speak of it being better to give than to receive, and I do not think they know who they are quoting. This comes from people, who do not want faith in the public arena and fail to give credit to Christ. We live in a strange world.

      • Eugene Adkins 5:09 pm on 2014-01-30 Permalink | Reply

        Acts 20:35 is a good one. That could be used for a whole other example when it comes to common sayings that our culture uses but isn’t even familiar with.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:10 am on 2014-01-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Culture, , , ,   

    Award Shows…the Heart 

    It’s the award giving time of the year for Hollywood and all of its media branches. It’s a time when the “people choose” and all the little gold-plated men go to the brightest stars of the multibillion dollar industry. After all, who doesn’t like a good pat on the back? But at the end of the day, the awards given out show more than just who’s “number one” – they show the true heart of Hollywood.

    Look at the movies that win. You don’t have to watch the shows to find out. The news channels fall over themselves trying to tell you about it. The movies that win the vast, vast majority of the time are ethically, morally and socially rotten. They continually glorify and celebrate murder, prostitution, hate, violence, profanity, fornication, organized crime, greed, theft, lying and adultery. Whichever movie pushes the envelope the best usually ends up finding its name inside the envelope to get the award.

    “But the actors and actresses deserve an award because they make it look so real”, some say. Well I say if you want to see real then get out on the streets where real people suffer because of the things that Hollywood celebrate! But that wouldn’t be any fun would it? The claim of, “movies help to escape reality”, while reality is made up of the actions and behaviors that the movies celebrate just don’t make sense to me.

    Never forget, what goes in the heart comes out of the heart. This is true on a personal, community, cultural and national level. And if one considers the poor and disgusting behavior of people on the big or little screen award worthy, then that award helps to reveal what the heart really values. So who’s the winner of our heart going to be? It’ll be whoever we lay out the red carpet for.

    But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” (Matthew 15:18-19 – NKJV)”

     
  • Eugene Adkins 7:04 am on 2014-01-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Culture, , , , , , ,   

    Jesus isn’t allowed in school? What’s new?! 

    There’s a news story out there on the web about a 6-year-old who was told by his teacher that “Jesus is not allowed in school” after bringing some candy canes for his classmates with a religiously themed note attached. Now I personally understand that the teacher was trying to use words that a 6-year-old could understand, but I also understand that explaining something in its simplicity does not do away with the truth, that being that the school is not interested in having Jesus around.

    Schools can’t have Jesus around, huh? So what’s hanging around schools since Jesus isn’t allowed anymore? Contraceptives without the parent’s knowledge? Sure. Telling kids how to have sex instead of educating about sex? Sure. Teachers having sex with kids? Sure. Kids dressing like they’re ready for the late night streets and the beach? Sure. Kids relentlessly physically and mentally torturing other kids? Sure. Kids buying and selling drugs? Sure. Kids disrespecting and threatening their teachers? Sure. Kids taking the lives of others kids? Unfortunately and sadly, sure.

    Why wouldn’t you encourage a 6-year-old boy who will soon be a 16-year-old young man to bring someone to school who can teach the other kids to love and respect their parents, to love and respect their self, to love and respect their fellow students, and to love and respect their teacher? We wouldn’t want kids growing up to do that would we?!

    Look at the major problems that schools are dealing with today – large dropout rates, graduated ignorance, out-of-wedlock children having children, drugs, gangs and school shootings. Why didn’t this stuff happen 40 to 50 years ago anywhere close to the way it happens today? Is it because you couldn’t drop out of school? Nope. Is it because there weren’t any kids not interested in learning? Nope. Is it because kids weren’t capable of having sex? Nope. Is it because there was no such thing as a group of punks? Nope. Is it because there were no drugs? Nope. Is it because there were no guns? Nope.

    One of the biggest contributing factors may just be that the last generation of adults were more interested in telling Jesus to stay home instead of coming to school with the kids resulting in a generation that doesn’t know about the Lord, because of a generation that didn’t want to know about him, thus resulting in a generation of kids who are being given an education for their physical side but are being deprived and starved of an education for the side that helps to temper the physical one.

    So Jesus isn’t allowed in school? Where’s that getting our culture and our children?

    And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10)

     
    • Bernard Barton 7:20 am on 2014-01-10 Permalink | Reply

      BUT: Muslim is allowed in schools today-trouble is our country is going the same way Israel of old did-
      She turned way from God-and became like other nations-which is what she wanted & left God-
      America has forsaken God and like Peter did flirting with the enemy-SATAN!

    • scatterwisdom 7:20 am on 2014-01-10 Permalink | Reply

      Seems we somehow decided in our public schools to teach every subject under the sun except wisdom and morality. Maybe that is why we read and hear the news every day about foolish actions that take place daily all over the world.

      Ancient wisdom recognized a person as having achieved wisdom when they lived a long and righteous lifestyle. Today we witnessing higher rates of suicide from both depressed minds and zealot terrorists, a sure sign of hopelessness in our world.

      What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom.

      Regards and good will blogging.

      • Eugene Adkins 11:04 am on 2014-01-11 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, you’re right, it’s the wrong life-style that our culture is enamored with today. Thanks for commenting.

  • TFRStaff 6:44 am on 2013-10-31 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Culture, , , , Peacemaker,   

    Peacemaker or Peace-Breaker 

    Percival Wilde once described a man with these memorable words: “He made enemies as naturally as soap makes suds.” Think about soap and suds for a moment. You don’t have to work very hard to get soap to make suds. Just mix a little water with the soap and agitate it slightly — and presto — out come the suds. Some people are like that. They make enemies easily. Agitate them ever so slightly and they are ready to go to war, if not with weapons at least with words. It just seems to be in some people’s nature to make and see other people as enemies. Thousands of years ago the psalmist found himself living around people who didn’t care about getting along with others — “My soul has dwelt too long with one who hates peace. I am for peace; But when I speak, they are for war” (Psalm 120:6-7). Sadly, daily headlines and simple observation reveal that our own world is populated by far too few who are for peace and far too many who are for war. The proof of that is all around us. The God Christians worship is called the “God of peace” (Romans 15:13). The Christ Christians seek to follow was described by a prophet as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). And the gospel Christians preach to the world is referred to in the Bible as the “gospel of peace” (Romans 10:15). All the more tragic, then, that we live in a world at war. Unless you are from another planet and just arrived today, you know there is war between nations. And here at home in America there is a lack of peace on our streets. The FBI “crime clock” reports a violent crime is committed every 23.5 seconds (huffingtonpost.com, 1/16/13). We are disgusted and stunned that violence now frequently enters the hallways and classrooms of our public schools, turning them into war-zones and killing fields. TV programming is saturated with violent acts. In many homes in America children and spouses are abused and even murdered. And thanks to “a woman’s right to choose,” violence has invaded and destroyed even the peace of the womb, making the womb, statistically, the most dangerous place to live in America. As some anonymous wag has noted, the most amazing thing about someone being arrested for disturbing the peace these days is that they found any peace to disturb.

    How challenging, then, the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called the children of God.” God’s children are known for trying to make peace. Now, while there is more to being a child of God than being a “peacemaker” (see John 3:3-5; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38, etc.), there certainly is not less. That’s why an inspired writer directed us bluntly in Hebrews 12:14 to “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” To be God’s sons and daughters is to take on His nature. And the gospel forcefully demonstrates His nature is to make peace, even when the cost is supreme (see Ephesians 2:12-17 and Colossians 1:20). It is no surprise then that Romans 14:19 lays down this directive to Christians: “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” Christians must seek to make peace, even as we wage “the good warfare” and “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 1:18; 6:12). Get real and search your heart: are you making war or peace? Are you a peacemaker or a peace-breaker? Think about it.

    Dan Gulley – Smithville Church of Christ

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:40 am on 2013-10-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Culture, emptiness of life, , , , , , , ,   

    “Bed Too Short and Cover Too Narrow” by Gospel Minutes 

    I talked to the editors at Gospel Minutes and I received their permission to put up a PDF of the article that I referenced a few days ago written by Clem Thurman called “Bed Too Short and Cover Too Narrow.” I encourage you to check it out if you don’t receive these papers through your congregation. Brother Thurman did an excellent job relating an “obscure” piece of scripture that’s thousands of years old to our modern-day mindset when it comes to finding fulfillment in the wrong places of life. Just click the link below!

    PDF of Bed Too Short and Cover Too Narrow

     
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