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  • J. Randal Matheny 10:10 am on 2016-06-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fellowship, ,   

    What does ‘fellowship’ mean? 

    By Nelson Smith, commenting on Phil 2.1-2

    What do we know of the “communion of the Holy Spirit?” Or the “fellowship of the Spirit?” What meaning does it have for us?

    I preached for a church where they had a “fellowship committee.” Its primary work was to organize “fellowships” where the main topic (and activity) was food. Sometimes a little more than that but that does seem to be a common “vice” (?) of many whose taste-buds are out of control.

    What does fellowship mean? (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 6:15 am on 2016-04-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , fellowship,   

    The life we share in the body of Christ 

    The apostle Paul practiced what he urged the Roman saints to do in Rom 12.15, to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep:”

    Christians are joined in the body of Christ. What happens to one affects the other. “Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with indignation?” 2 Cor 11.29. —QBT

    In English we use the figure of speech about being joined at the hip. (Is that phrase still politically correct?) It means that people are very closely connected. (More …)

     
  • John T. Polk II 8:58 pm on 2015-06-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , blood of Jesus Christ, , fellowship,   

    6-24-2015 Let’s Come Together 

    When tragedy strikes, whether natural (such as tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or volcano), man-made (such as automobile wrecks, construction failures, or industrial disasters), or evil-doings (such as mass murders, beheadings, rapes, abuse or neglect of children, or abortions), people call for everyone to “come together” and share in the grief and concern. Isn’t that what the church of Christ is all about? Those who obey the Gospel of Christ are added to His church for worship of God and fellowship with one another. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13 NKJV). “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 NKJV). It’s as close as your Bible!

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

     
  • Ed Boggess 8:28 am on 2015-04-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: birds of a feather, , fellowship,   

    I try not to judge but when I see a bird that looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, has webbed feet like a duck and hangs around in the company of ducks; it is difficult to dispute the conclusion that it must be a duck. Someone has said, “Bird of a feather flock together.” People tend to gravitate to where they feel most comfortable. When the apostle Peter was released from prison, he didn’t go to the local tavern or a nightclub, he headed to a prayer-meeting. He knew where he belonged. On the other hand, when I see church folk who are more comfortable mixing it up with the world than with their brethren, I wonder about the genuineness of their profession. The apostle John says, “We know that we have passed from life to death, because we love the brethren.” If we don’t love the brethren, maybe it is because we belong to the other crowd. This is Just-A-Minute

     
  • Eugene Adkins 7:00 am on 2014-09-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , fellowship,   

    Blest be the tie that blinds? 

    We sing “blest be the tie binds” but to enjoy it we must be aware of the ties that blind.

    • Jesus warned about the consequences of loving our closest kin more than him (Matthew 10:34-37).
    • Paul warned about being “unequally yoked” with unbelievers who prevent us from doing God’s will (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
    • John warned about supporting false teachers who cloud the clarity of sound doctrine (2 John 1:8-11).
    • Peter warned about the dangers of peer-pressure as we seek to live a godly life (1 Peter 4:1-5).
    • James warned about the results of being a friend to the world’s way of doing things (James 4:4).
    • Jude warned about those who would seek fellowship while wreaking havoc of the very grace that brings it together (Jude 1:3-5).

    God’s word is plain enough – there is a tie a binds us to him, but to enjoy it we must untie and avoid the binds that will blind us to the fellowship of the heavenly sorts.

    So which song are we going to sing?

     
    • James 11:53 pm on 2014-09-24 Permalink | Reply

      When I saw the title I thought it was going to be about outlandish ties that some people wear.

  • J. Randal Matheny 2:17 pm on 2014-04-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , fellowship, make every effort,   

    So how are you different by being like everyone else? 

    different-sameTwitter is rolling out its new profile formats, which resemble Facebook, which in turn changed to look more like Google+. It must presage the Great Convergence. Run!

    Google, I believe I wrote earlier, is working off an ancient functional idea for its format: the 3×5 card. Simplicity rules. Except in the Lord’s church, where not a few want to complicate by innovation.

    ¶ Speaking of which, last night in our home reading group, we read all of 1 Corinthians 4, in which Paul apparently makes yet another application of that well known rule among Christians: “Don’t go beyond what is written” v. 6. (More …)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:27 pm on 2014-04-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , fellowship, ,   

    “Beardless Robertson brother” compares “Duck Dynasty” to Salvation Army and Vice-Versa 

    One of the great things about the Salvation Army and the Robertson family is we’re both trying to help people. Our family has been about reaching out and telling people about the good news about Jesus. And in essence, that’s exactly what the Army does,” said Robertson.”

    The above is a quote from Alan Robertson, according to an article by Kyle Rothenberg published on April 09, 2014 on Fox News’ website, as he spoke to Fox News concerning his speaking engagement at a fund-raising event in Mississippi for the Salvation Army organization.

    What caught my attention in the quote was the word “essence”. It’s interesting how the word “essence” can be used by some to completely slide (if not right out jump) over key doctrinal gaps, assuming that the doctrinal gaps exist between the guest speaker and the leadership of the hosting group. But I guess it would be “wrong” to tell someone you’re trying to raise money for that they’re wrong when it comes to the good news of Jesus and how to receive the benefits thereof.

    Now don’t get me wrong in what I am saying; this is not a “bash the Salvation Army” post. I believe the “Salvation Army” does a lot of good. And I also believe that they are doctrinally sound in many areas of their teaching and understanding of the Bible. But, as far as this post is concerned, one area that I do not agree with them on is how a person must respond to the good news of Jesus in order to be saved. Sure, they believe that one is saved by grace through faith – but according to my understanding they do so to the extent that their version of salvation “by grace through faith” excludes the necessity of baptism when it comes to its role in the regeneration of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5, Acts 2:38). If I’m wrong concerning the Salvation Army’s stance, feel free to correct me. But if I’m correct in my understanding then it is the Salvation Army who stands in need of correction.

    Furthermore, this is not a “bash the Robertson’s” post. I praise the Robertson’s clear and resilient stance against the homosexual agenda and their movement of intolerance, and for their stance on other moral issues and the importance of family in spite of their popularity. They have been given a national platform that few are willing to stand on when it comes to politically incorrect topics. But, as far as this post is concerned, going beyond the forces that seek their caving in to “political correctness”, my concern is that their popularity in the spiritual world will only lead to more and more caving in to a version of “spiritual correctness” that winks at what should not be ignored. Namely, what Jesus himself said when it comes to enjoying the benefits of his good news (Mark 16:15-16).

    The spirit of unity and the unity of the Spirit should not be confused with one another. They are two different things (Ephesians 4:3-6), and they should be recognized as such.

    Now, I believe building bridges is one thing, but helping to support bridges that blatantly teach false doctrines concerning the gospel of Christ and one’s salvation is a road that I wish the Robertson’s, at least to which family members it may apply, would not travel down, for good deeds do not necessarily lead to good results (Matthew 7:21-23), nor does the endorsement of another’s “essence” that resides in error (Romans 16:17). And this is something that I hope they would recognize when a comparison is made.

     
  • John T. Polk II 2:00 am on 2014-03-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: appetite, , fellowship, , , miser, ,   

    (#162) The Proverbs of Solomon 23:6-8-Bar-B-Que Bait 

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

    Proverbs 23:6-8: “Do not eat the bread of a miser, Nor desire his delicacies; For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. ‘Eat and drink!’ he says to you, But his heart is not with you.  The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, And waste your pleasant words.”

    Excesses are dangerous at the dinner table (Proverbs 23:19-21). In Proverbs 23:1-3, we are warned to not let appetite overrule our good judgment, or in other words, don’t let a politician buy our vote with bar-b-que! Then, in Proverbs 23:4-5, we are warned not to irresponsibly chase after “riches” as our only goal in life, for there is much more to a good life than that! Now, in Proverbs 23:6-8, we are again warned not to listen to a “miser” encourage us to “eat and drink” his food, because he begrudges every bit of what we would enjoy. His heart is not as open as his invitation! The guest’s “pleasant words” (table talk) will be wasted because the “miser” is resenting the guest’s enjoyment.

    Contrast this hypocritical feast with the genuineness that Jesus teaches Christians to have: “Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:12-14). Jesus taught that there should be no underlying political motive for giving an invitation for a meal! “Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely” (Luke 14:1). When it says “they watched Him closely” it describes their sidelong, judgmental observations just looking for a reason to condemn Him.

    The honesty of a Christian invitation is seen that when a fellow-Christian is in wilful, deliberate sin, for which he/she refuses to repent, faithful Christians would refuse to extend social opportunity around the dinner table (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).

    As Proverbs points out, good judgment should always take precedence over appetite and social fellowship!

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

     
  • TFRStaff 8:18 am on 2013-11-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fellowship, ,   

    EDIFIER 

    THE EDIFIER

    1 COR. 14:26

    “LET ALL THINGS BE DONE UNTO EDIFYING”

    An E-Letter from Ted & Barbara Knight to our Romanian Family

    Dear Brothers, Sisters, and Friends,

    Today in America we are observing what our forefathers designated as a ‘Day of Thanksgiving.’ It is one of our favorite days of the year. School is dismissed, many people are not required to work, and families gather for a time of great food, fellowship, and pleasant memories. I am sorry that in the last few years more emphasis is placed upon shopping, which requires that all the stores are open, and other activities and it seems to me that the focus on ‘Thanksgiving’ is somewhat diminished. But, that is a choice that everyone makes for themselves.

    Very early this morning My Lady and I lay in our bed and we began counting our blessings. It seems that the list would be endless and it really is, when you began to put those blessings into words to yourself and someone else, it really makes them come alive. We want you to know something; “Very close to the top of those blessings that we thank God for is our family of Christians and friends in Romania.” In 2014 we will begin our 20th year of work and association with the people of Romania. You will never know what an impact you have made on our lives. There are some people who go into another country and they come home and forget who they met and some of what they did. That is not true of us. We remember the first baptism of Horia and the second one was Ramona Manescu, followed by many others. We remember bible studies and many of you translating for us, the bus rides between Pitesti and Craiova, and the wonderful times of fellowship when our work was done at days end. We could write many pages from the memories that we have of all of you and the love that we have for you. So, on this Day of Thankgiving, please be assured that you are a vital part of our prayer of thanks to God and we pray that many more years of memories will be made.

    We pray that God will bless you and keep you lovingly in His arms.

    With Much Love,

    Ted & Barbara

     
  • TFRStaff 3:01 am on 2013-11-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fellowship, ,   

    Ask for help 

    The other day, before I went to sleep, I set my glasses in a different spot than normal. The problem with that was when I woke the next morning, I forgot where I had put them. To make matters worse, apparently I am so blind I need my glasses in order to see where I set my glasses. So I spent the first thirty minutes of the day looking and feeling around for my glasses.

    I finally had to swallow my pride and ask my wife for help. She found them in a matter of seconds. I probably would have spent all day looking for them and never found them.

    Many of us have a sense of pride that keeps us from asking others for help. When it comes to small things—like looking for help finding my glasses—it’s not that big of a deal. The worst thing that might happen is I might be a little embarrassed.

    When it comes to spiritual things, however, the result of not asking for help could be a lot worse. In Galatians 6:2, Paul tells us, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

    This can happen only if we share our struggles and problems with each other. You might be like me and want to do everything on your own but, as Christians, we need to learn a different way.

    Let’s share, not just in our blessings, but also share in our struggles—”and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

    —Luke Bower, Baker Heights bulletin, Abilene TX

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 7:58 pm on 2013-09-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , fellowship   

    Oh, Blessed Moment with the Saints 

    A quick little poem I wrote this evening after church.

    Oh, blessed moment with the saints,
    For wearied hearts renewed!
    We lay aside our small complaints,
    For heaven’s wholesome food.

    Assembled, we hear God’s still voice,
    Reminded once again
    That we have reason to rejoice
    In Him the great Amen!

    Together, tongues unite in song,
    And wills in Jesus’ blend;
    To these redeemed we all belong
    For ages without end.

    JRMatheny

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-08-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , fellowship, , pawned, pledge, , , , ,   

    (#40) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:15-Are You Sure, or “Surety?” 

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

    Proverbs 11:15: “He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, But one who hates being surety is secure.”

    In our Lesson #15, the explanation for why being “surety” was dangerous was explained in Proverbs 6:1-5. The person who becomes “surety” (guaranty or collateral) for a friend’s (or a relative’s!) debt, has “come into the hand of your friend.” To obligate our self with another’s debt shows that we are “devoid of understanding” as to how these things work.

    Other proverbs that cover this subject are: “A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge, And becomes surety for his friend” (Proverbs 17:18); “Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger, And hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress” (Proverbs 20:16); “Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, One of those who is surety for debts; 27 If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take away your bed from under you?” (Proverbs 22:26-27); “Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger, And hold it in pledge when he is surety for a seductress” (Proverbs 27:13). If a stranger is faithless enough to go into “a seductress” (Proverbs 5-7), and you are left holding his “garment” as a “pledge,” then how much will he have left when she is through with him and you have his necessary clothing? “For by means of a harlot A man is reduced to a crust of bread; And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life” (Proverbs 6:26). We can become so over-obligated, we could lose our “bed from under” us. In our credit-riddled, debt-ridden society, these are words to heed!

    To assume the debt of “a stranger” is to step into a bond with someone we may not know as well as we thought. This appears to be behind the statement to Christians by Paul: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14), which he explains in 2 Corinthians 6:15-18. There must be a line maintained between caution and fellowship.

    God prohibited taking a “neighbor’s” garment for collateral in Moses’ Law: “If you ever take your neighbor’s garment as a pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down” (Exodus 22:26). This was his necessary clothing pawned for a debt; it was a “neighbor” who lived close by; and even Proverbs 17:18 warns of being surety “for his friend.” Those who mismanage their own finances, but never learn God’s Wisdom from their experiences, surely are disqualified at dealing with, or advising, everyone else!

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

     
  • Stephen R. Bradd 8:55 am on 2013-04-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fellowship, majority   

    Questions regarding 2 Cor 2:6 

    NKJV reads [with emphasis added]: “This punishment which was inflicted by the MAJORITY is sufficient for such a man.” ESV & NET also use “majority”. KJV & ASV use “many”.

    QUESTION #1: Is is safe to conclude that NOT ALL of the Corinthian brethren obeyed Paul’s command in 1 Cor 5 (regarding withdrawing fellowship from the brother involved in sexual sin)? As I look at the Greek word pleion, this seems to be correct (but I’ll defer to the “experts” among us). Paul would have used a different term if ALL of the Christians in Corinth had heeded his command, right?

    QUESTION #2: What about the FEW who did NOT obey (i.e., ones who did not withdraw from the erring brother after being commanded to do so)? We would understand this to be a sin, yet there is no instruction from the apostle to discipline them (not even a rebuke). What are we to conclude from this?

    Any input is appreciated. This inquiry is more than hypothetical for me.

    As a side note, our family trip out West was wonderful (Grand Canyon, Sedona, & Monument Valley were my favorite stops). All that being said, it’s great to be home!

     
    • Butch Adams 1:34 pm on 2013-04-22 Permalink | Reply

      #1. The only thing I can do with Greek is look it up in my Strong’s Numbers. Still, I would say it’s a safe bet that everyone didn’t participate in shunning the sinner, though.

      #2. My first thought on what to do about it would be to proceed as you would with any other sin. The first priority would be to inform them that they risk the disfellowshipped person never coming back if they don’t feel the sorrow that Paul talks about in that passage.

    • J. Randal Matheny 8:26 pm on 2013-04-22 Permalink | Reply

      On Question 2, it seems a dangerous thing to reach a conclusion based on lack of evidence.

    • Eugene Adkins 6:31 am on 2013-04-23 Permalink | Reply

      It wouldn’t surprise me if friends or family (no matter how crazy the family situation was) chose to side with the man or woman. I’ve seen multiple times over in the church when people chose their physical family over their spiritual family…especially when it comes to parents and their children.

      We know the congregation was moved with a godly sorrow, but was everyone? I hope so!

  • Richard Mansel 7:34 am on 2012-03-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , fellowship, , ,   

    Social Media and Fellowship 

    What role does social media have in Biblical fellowship? More specifically, what does it do to the lines between sound and unsound brethren? In the past, I have received Facebook friendship requests from false teachers who have dozens of sound brethren as “friends.”

    Should we be Facebook friends with false teachers? Do we need to examine the Scriptures on fellowship through the prism of social media? I look forward to the discussion.

     
    • Chris Gallagher 7:53 am on 2012-03-08 Permalink | Reply

      Richard,

      What an interesting question, I will open the flood gates of discussion regarding this question. There are people on my Facebook and Twitter list with whom I strongly disagree. I go further and have joined groups with those in which I strongly disagree for a couple reasons:

      (1) I want to see how I can influence them for good through posting articles, links, material and even joining in discussions.

      (2) I want keep up with the current thoughts of those with whom I disagree. I learned growing up that examining the others side of an issue many times will aid me in strengthening my foundation for my beliefs.

      I appreciate the discussion and look forward to it.

      Thanks,

      Chris

    • John T. Polk II 10:58 am on 2012-03-08 Permalink | Reply

      Richard, thanks for bringing up the point for discussion. What Paul bound in 1 Corinthians 5 deals with (1) a local situation known to the local brethren; (2) involved purging out the “leaven” of observing our “Passover” (in the Lord’s Supper?); (3) and dealing with brethren who refused to repent when chastised; then surely we must deal with those whom we know to be in sin in such a way as to try to bring them to repentance.
      What then is impressed by Paul on Timothy (and us!) in dealing with false teachers is not designed to bring them to repentance as much as it is to preserve us from the error of their doctrine(s) in 1 Timothy 6:1-5. This tells us (1) the doctrine is set; (2) anyone teaching anything contrariwise is false; (3) we must remain “withdrawn” from them.
      That said, “social networking” blurs this distinction by allowing false teachers to continue to have influence over their acolytes. However, this electronic media works both ways! That’s why I have posted my debate charts with two false teachers on our website to keep the “marked” and refute their unscriptural doctrines that divide churches of Christ. One of these advocates the false doctrine that church-funded benevolence is for “saints only” (http://doverchurchofchrist.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/RELIGIOUS-DISCUSSION-At-Northside-Church-of-Chri3.swf), the other advocates the false doctrine that brethren cannot eat meals in the church building (http://doverchurchofchrist.info/wpcontent/uploads/2011/10/PolkDonahueDebate.swf).
      This permits false teachers and their false doctrine(s) to be easily identified and refuted!
      Thus, when “social media” continually keeps the error of their doctrine before them (which is why I post these links on my “Facebook” page), others may be warned, also.
      God help us to maintain the Biblical lines clearly drawn by the Bible in our “postmodern” age! “Preach the word.”
      John T. Polk II

      • John T. Polk II 10:47 am on 2012-03-09 Permalink | Reply

        Correction: the weblinks have been corrected and should work, now. Sorry for the inconvenience.

        Richard, thanks for bringing up the point for discussion. What Paul bound in 1 Corinthians 5 deals with (1) a local situation known to the local brethren; (2) involved purging out the “leaven” of observing our “Passover” (in the Lord’s Supper?); (3) and dealing with brethren who refused to repent when chastised; then surely we must deal with those whom we know to be in sin in such a way as to try to bring them to repentance.
        What then is impressed by Paul on Timothy (and us!) in dealing with false teachers is not designed to bring them to repentance as much as it is to preserve us from the error of their doctrine(s) in 1 Timothy 6:1-5. This tells us (1) the doctrine is set; (2) anyone teaching anything contrariwise is false; (3) we must remain “withdrawn” from them.
        That said, “social networking” blurs this distinction by allowing false teachers to continue to have influence over their acolytes. However, this electronic media works both ways! That’s why I have posted my debate charts with two false teachers on our website to keep the “marked” and refute their unscriptural doctrines that divide churches of Christ. One of these advocates the false doctrine that church-funded benevolence is for “saints only” (http://doverchurchofchrist.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/RELIGIOUS-DISCUSSION-At-Northside-Church-of-Chri3.swf), the other advocates the false doctrine that brethren cannot eat meals in the church building (http://doverchurchofchrist.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/PolkDonahueDebate.swf).
        This permits false teachers and their false doctrine(s) to be easily identified and refuted!
        Thus, when “social media” continually keeps the error of their doctrine before them (which is why I post these links on my “Facebook” page), others may be warned, also.
        God help us to maintain the Biblical lines clearly drawn by the Bible in our “postmodern” age! “Preach the word.”
        John T. Polk II

    • Stevelucas 5:41 pm on 2012-03-08 Permalink | Reply

      Chris,

      You are so spot on with your thoughts. If we do not engage those with whom we disagree, then before long we simply love those who love us and never know what are the concerns or issues of those who have yet to put on Christ. And oh yes, occasionally we learn a more perfect understanding of God’s Word which otherwise may never have been discovered.

    • Eugene Adkins 6:04 pm on 2012-03-08 Permalink | Reply

      Great questions, Richard.

      This is something that I’ve thought about before. I believe that one can be a “friend” to someone without “fellowshipping” with them. For the most part I enjoy talking to others about things even when I do not agree with them biblically or socially. I think that’s all a part of our dialouge process…at least if we wish to have one.

      Jesus definitely at with people that He did not agree with. While I know that a distinction can be made between “friending” someone and having a conversation with them, I also know that a person will never hear what you have to say if we always keep them at arms-length.

      While there are no doubt exceptions to what I’ve said, I believe if a person can show themsleves friendly in the “real” world then they should be able to do the same in the “digital” one.

      Just for clarification sake, I don’t have a face book account 🙂

    • J. Randal Matheny 5:05 am on 2012-03-09 Permalink | Reply

      I try to avoid the pushers, those who actively promote progressive doctrine. I don’t want to give them access to people. Others, I may befriend in hopes of influencing.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:58 am on 2012-03-09 Permalink | Reply

        I believe that would be one of my “exceptions” that I referred to, but I often take the chance to use it for a discussion without the use of the “like” button on the wordpress side of things.

  • J. Randal Matheny 10:02 pm on 2011-07-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , fellowship, ,   

    New discoveries when I’m teaching 

    fellowship

    Here’s the pic from our pizza party Friday night in Taubate. Good friends here. I took this with Haroldo’s camera, so I had to tinker with it, since it had no flash. This was after we demolished the food. Nothing left.

    The pics from the birthday party last night are here.

    Did I tell you already that I’ll be away some from the Internet this week, as we travel? I can’t remember to whom I’ve said what. Such is the whirl of preparation.

    Do carry on normally. More than normal. Take up the slack for me, please.

    We saw the granddaughter tonight on skype, did the usual grandparent-baby-talk thing. My parents didn’t have that blessing when our kids were growing up on a different continent from them. They sacrificed a lot as we did our work. His work. And they did it gladly, mostly.

    I preached this morning, taught our new Bible school this afternoon, led singing, also. I think I’ve finally gotten used to leading singing. At least, among the brethren here in Brazil. Don’t ask me to do it in the U.S. Scares me to death.

    But I love to teach. Preach, also. The more the merrier. The interaction in teaching, though, is what makes it even more interesting to me. Love to draw people out. Make ’em think. Challenge in the best way possible, toward growth, toward love for the Lord, toward commitment to the Kingdom.

    I often make new discoveries when I’m teaching — in the act of teaching, not just the preparation. The back-and-forth discussion seems to make that happen. Something about that dynamic. You know I’m not charismatic, nothing like that, but the Spirit of God moves powerfully to bring out his truth in such moments. Is it OK to attribute that happening to the Spirit? No miracles, no supernatural revelation, just God working, as he does everywhere, in everything.

    Well, I have bags to pack. Or maybe I’ll sleep on it, and in the morning see what clothes fall in the suitcase during the night.

    Say a prayer for our trip, please.

     
    • Don Petty 11:04 pm on 2011-07-24 Permalink | Reply

      God bless you in your travels and work you do for Him. Don Petty, Dallas

    • Beth 3:06 am on 2011-07-25 Permalink | Reply

      I do not believe there are miracles today, nor do believe we are led by the Spirit, but I do believe God is at work every day of the world.

    • Rick Kelley 6:00 am on 2011-07-25 Permalink | Reply

      “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom. 8:13-14). Terminology that has been otherwise hijacked and used illegitimately, ought not scare us from using it biblically.

      • Rick Kelley 6:01 am on 2011-07-25 Permalink | Reply

        And, a prayer for your safe travels…

    • Ron Jackson 6:54 am on 2011-07-25 Permalink | Reply

      Have safe travels brother and will pray for your safe return home.

      • J. Randal Matheny 7:14 am on 2011-07-25 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Ron and Rick!

        Rick, you’re spot on, that we shouldn’t be scared of biblical language even though it’s misused by others.

    • stevelucas 9:10 am on 2011-07-25 Permalink | Reply

      “We saw the granddaughter tonight on skype, did the usual grandparent-baby-talk thing. My parents didn’t have that blessing when our kids were growing up on a different continent from them. They sacrificed a lot as we did our work. His work. And they did it gladly, mostly.”

      Randall, Having lost my parents and father in law to earthly death over the past few years, may be the reason I have thought more about them lately. Why is that, that we delay thinking about those we love until we can no longer do something about it? I believe it is the plan of the devil, let’s make God’s people delay or put off to tomorrow what can be done today. And possibly that is Satan’s most effective tool we need to fight. Having said that, if your parents were like many others, they certainly sacrificed much when you were growing up, when in their daily presence. For, as a parent for 28 years, I am finally understanding that that is one of the greatest attributes of a parent, a willingness to sacrifice. Does it make me love my parents even more than I did when they were in my presence, absolutely! Now, even more so, my love for my Heavenly Father becomes greater each day, each day until I see he, when my faith becomes sight, for he sacrificed even more, His Son. So then, until then, may I find opportunities to sacrifice for others who love the Lord. And, for the love of others.

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