Name An Item Or Habit

From a spiritual perspective, the following are some of my observations regarding items or habits no longer in use today (comparatively speaking) as they were three to four generations ago:

1) The Bible is no longer habitually read, studied and used by members of the Lord’s church like it was in the 1940’s and 1950’s (we used to be called “walking Bibles” by those outside the church – http://cedarparkchurchofchrist.org/cpcofc/index.php?n=Articles.2010DailyBibleStudy).

2) Looking at all of the immorality in our society today, we can plainly see that Interest in spiritual values and principles are no longer “in vogue.” If they were, children would be taught these values at home and our society today would be less immoral as a result.

3) Hell fire and damnation sermons are today rarely heard from the pulpit (I grew up hearing these type of sermons on a regular basis back in the 1940’s). And guess what? The Lord’s church grew dramatically.

4) Home Bible studies with others are virtually non-existent today (no time to study, folks say).

5) Personal bible study at home is virtually non-existent today. Too many worldly influences (too many digital “toys”), thus, no time to study.

6) In the 1940’s and 50’s, folks habitually assembled to worship the Lord – so much so, that two to three week gospel meetings were not uncommon (I attended some of them). Today, they are unheard of. If we can get members to come to a three-day gospel meeting, we count ourselves successful.

7) Pews are not being filled today as they were three to four generations ago. The testimony of the “empty pew” is a testimony to our lack of focus on spiritual things (Colossians 3:1-2): http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2008/08/09/lessons-from-an-empty-pew/

I could go on and on and on (like the energizer battery bunny), but the above are enough samples to let folks see the fact that spirituality has greatly waned in our country and in the Lord’s church.

What’s the solution to all of the above? Open the Book! (read it and do what it says do – James 1:22-25): http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2008/01/08/lets-open-the-book/

#bible, #children, #church, #habit, #home, #meeting, #member, #principle, #read, #society, #spiritual, #study, #value, #vogue, #worship

The smallest congregation I’ve been to …

The smallest congregation I’ve been to is the one I’m presently a member of – the Montana St. congregation. We run between 15-20 members each Lord’s Day. In the 1960’s the congregation had over 600 members – standing room only – filled both the auditorium and balcony. We can plainly see the decline in spiritual priorities over the past 50 years. A sad commentary indeed.

#auditorium, #balcony, #commentary, #congregation, #decline, #member, #priority, #room, #small, #spiritual, #standing

On Thanksgiving day, my wife and I will …

On Thanksgiving day, my wife and I will visit the home of one of our members, who through her generosity, and the generosity of her three sisters will have plenty of food and fellowship.

#fellowship, #food, #generosity, #home, #member, #plenty, #sister, #visit, #wife

The Last True Evangelist

The last true evangelist that I’ve known who lived what he preached, was Brother Dan Gibson, who preached for our Montana Street congregation for approximately seven years. He has since retired, he and his wife moving to Conroe, Texas to be close to their children.

He and his wife Joy, are now members of the Longmire congregation http://www.longmirechurchofchrist.com/longmirecc/welcome, where he now preaches part time. He also oversees the congregation’s educational program, making sure that the materials used in their Bible classes, coincides with clear Bible teaching.

Brother Dan is truly a man of the Book. I love and miss he and his wife dearly. I call him every weekend to see how he and his wife are getting along healthwise (they are in their late 70’s). Such faithful preachers in the brotherhood, are few and far between (and getting fewer by the day).

#bible, #children, #congregation, #education, #evangelist, #material, #member, #preach, #retire, #teaching, #true

Army Of The Lord

One of our church members, who is a stationed at Ft. Bliss, related the following story to me today:

A friend was in front of me coming out of the church building one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside. The preacher said to him, “You need to join the Army of the Lord!” My friend replied, “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, preacher! The preacher questioned him by asking, “How come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?”

He whispered back, “I’m in the Secret Service.”

Now I know where some of our members are that are not in church services except on special occasions. 🙂

#army, #door, #friend, #hand, #member, #military, #preacher, #story

My most positive word today? The word, …

My most positive word today? The word, “steady.” Years ago, we had a member of our congregation by the name of Tom Porterfield, who has since gone on to be with the Lord. When I would ask him every Sunday morning how he was doing, he would reply with a simple, “I’m steady.”

Brother Tom was indeed “steady.” Even though he was up in years, he’d be present at every worship service of the Lord’s people. He was truly an inspiration and godly example of “steady” service to the Lord, and we greatly miss his presence when we assemble today.

Brethren, like brother Tom, may we be found to be “steady” – “Steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58-NKJV).

#congregation, #example, #inspiration, #member, #steady, #work, #worship