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  • Richard Mansel 11:53 am on 2017-03-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , preaching, religious freedom,   

    Supreme Court Justice Warns About Spiritual Dangers 

    Often when we speak of spiritual threats, we’re mocked or ignored as alarmists. Yet, when someone of great importance and special insight speaks, we should certainly listen and heed their warnings. (More …)

  • Richard Mansel 3:49 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , preaching,   

    Threats to The Great Commission 

    As time and technology progress, we need to abandon our naivete and realize the threats before us. Complaining about the rise of persecutions is normal, but not very productive.

    In these times, courage is required to confront Satan and his forces. Yet, it’s worthless unless it’s combined with faith (Hebrews 11:6), perseverance (Romans 5:3) and the spiritual armament constructed by God (Ephesians 6:10-17). In addition, we must be wise, cautious and perceptive. (More …)

    • Ron Mansel 4:02 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

      Richard, good article. Ron

      • Richard Mansel 4:09 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so much!

    • Karen 6:08 pm on 2017-03-17 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent article! Things do seem to be in a “no turning back” mode right now. I pray for wisdom.

  • J. Randal Matheny 2:56 pm on 2017-02-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , preaching   

    We got clergy in the Lord’s church 

    Ron T. has an excellent article that deserves a close reading, “Dismissing the preacher for a change in direction.”

    What Ron describes is a symptom of a larger problem, it would seem, of treating preachers (and preachers considering themselves) as employees.

    You hear and read it all the time, that a man is a “preacher for” such-and-such congregation. Language betrays. Profound restoration is needed on this point.

    In the 2017 FHU Lectureship book, a contributor wrote about “lay” preachers. Editors let that go.

    What is the opposite of laymen? Clergy.

    • Eugene 3:23 pm on 2017-02-10 Permalink | Reply

      Concerning the FHU writing, do you believe it’s possible the contributor made a poor choice in wording and should have used “vocational” instead?

      • J. Randal Matheny 5:41 pm on 2017-02-10 Permalink | Reply

        Possibly, yes. It was translated into Spanish and the translator, from my incomplete knowledge of that language, chose to use a word meaning “simple,” taking it to mean, apparently, unschooled. But how does such a term insinuate itself into the language of a people who used to fight tooth and toenail the idea of clergy and laity? Many of our preachers and saints do consider the full-time “minister” to be a clergyman, if not in “theology” then in practice. Most churches act like it, too.

        • Eugene Adkins 10:32 am on 2017-02-11 Permalink | Reply

          I thought that might be the case, but I still hear you. It’s much akin to the same way a tie becomes equated to a collar in some eyes.

          • J. Randal Matheny 11:59 am on 2017-02-11 Permalink | Reply

            Ha! Good one. True.

    • James Pasley 4:35 pm on 2017-02-11 Permalink | Reply

      What you have pointed out here is just one more step on the road toward denominationalism. I also read Ron’s article and found it to have a good point. On the other side of the preacher being dismissed to “go a different direction” are the preachers who use smaller congregations as a stepping stone like a hireling so that they can go on to bigger and better things. Many preachers leave a congregation behind not because there is anything wrong with the leadership or outlook of the congregation, but simply to move to a bigger better paying position. There are times on both sides when the preacher or the congregation may want to serve the Lord in a different way or bring in someone who may have some new ideas (in matters of opinion, not doctrine). These things are not necessarily wrong or sinful, but the way it is handled sometimes is.

      • J. Randal Matheny 12:37 pm on 2017-02-13 Permalink | Reply

        James, I have observed from afar what you noted, and hoped that my conclusions were wrong. I saw this happen recently and felt profound sadness.

  • John T. Polk II 10:13 pm on 2016-11-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: answered prayer, , preaching   

    11-11-2016 Prayerful Preaching 

    “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith” (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 NKJV)1) We should attempt nothing without prayer to the Lord.  “You’re in my prayers,” may not be the same as, “Now I pray to God that you do no evil” (2 Corinthians 13:7 NKJV). Specific prayer should be pointed to God. 2) Our desire is for “the word of the Lord” to be freely spoken and taught. Paul requested prayer “that God would open to us a door for the word” (Colossians 4:2-3 NKJV)3) Deliverance “from unreasonable and wicked men” may come in the form of a government election resulting in oppressive restrictions being lifted.  Thank God for answered prayer!

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

  • TFRStaff 6:44 am on 2016-10-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , preaching, ,   

    October 2016 Issue of Christian Worker (The Need for Strong Churches) 

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

    Here are the topics that you will find:

    • The Need for Strong Churches (Mike Vestal)
    • Strength Through Adversity (Cody Westbrook)
    • Through Fellowship (Kevin Rhodes)
    • Through Worship (Wayne Jones)
    • Through Preaching (Clay Bond)
    • Through Love (Ross Haffner)
    • Through Service (Johnie Scaggs, Jr)

    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 © 2016 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

  • TFRStaff 6:30 am on 2016-07-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , preaching, , ,   

    July 2016 Issue of Christian Worker (We Need Strong Preachers!) 

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

    Here are the topics that you will find:

    • We Need Strong Preachers! (Tom Moore)
    • Faith is the Victory! (Cody Westbrook)
    • The Word of God is Able! (Richard Melson)
    • Every Aquila Needs His Priscilla (Carl McCann)
    • What Preachers Need from Elders (Andy Baker)
    • Iron Sharpens Iron (James Nash)
    • Strength Through Spiritual Exercise (Bill Burk)

    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 © 2016 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

  • TFRStaff 6:02 am on 2016-05-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , preaching   

    Hugh’s News & Views (“Preacher, How Long Has It Been …?”) 


    Sometimes it is not what a preacher says that makes his sermon unacceptable to the Lord and ineffective where the instruction of his hearers is concerned, but rather what he fails to say!

    (More …)

    • Horace Hall 4:43 am on 2016-12-31 Permalink | Reply

      No one was baptized in the name of FATHER SON AND Holy Spirit in N.T. begging in Acts. 2

      • Eugene Adkins 4:28 pm on 2017-01-01 Permalink | Reply

        Hello Horace,

        Hugh contributes a weekly article here in TFR but does reply very often to comments (perhaps he may notice your comment though and reply himself), but if I can, I would be glad to help follow-up on your comment.

        I read through Hugh’s post to look for a connection to your comment but I was unable find any specific one. Maybe your comment was meant for another article. Or maybe I overlooked the connection.

        Either way I would just say that, according to my understanding, it would be good to keep in mind that being baptized “in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 2) is not a formula that “must be said verbatim” anymore than baptizing someone “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28) is, but rather these scriptures refer to the source of the authority under which one’s baptism is being performed (administered/given).

        Hope that helps, but if it does not, feel free to reply. Thanks for commenting.

  • J. Randal Matheny 5:42 am on 2016-03-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , preaching,   

    New site for sermon and class outlines 

    You might be interested in a new website for outlines, ideas, and seeds for sermons and Bible classes, with a different twist, called Sermon Lines. So far, an introduction and an outline have been posted.

    Disclosure: I am, er, involved in this particular site.

  • Eugene Adkins 10:34 am on 2016-02-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , preaching   

    One wild preacher! 

    If you had to name the wildest preacher in the Bible, who do you think it would be?

    I think it would be John the baptizer!

    Think about it: John’s ministry was based in the wild, he dressed wild, he ate wild, he preached a wild message of repentance and he received a wild response from the people!

    Maybe we preachers need to be a little less “civilized” and little more wild like John. Just a thought.

    • docmgphillips 8:15 pm on 2016-02-12 Permalink | Reply

      It is imperative that we hear messages of the love of our Heavenly Father. But…how can we appreciate that great love if we know nothing of the Hell that awaits the unrepentant sinner?

  • J. Randal Matheny 5:49 am on 2016-01-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , preaching, put on Christ   

    Gambling a lose-lose situation 

    Yesterday, some sap in the greater Los Angeles area won Powerball’s 1.5 billion dollar prize. He’ll now become the gambling industry’s poster boy for the poor man’s tax, impoverishing more still those who can least afford to let go of their money. The money he pockets came directly from millions of others who cherished his hopes. Does he consider that his winning meant their loss? Probably not. Gambling is truly a lose-lose situation. Even the winner is a loser. But isn’t that the way the world works?

    A billionaire gave some advice to the winner of the lottery. Say no to friends and family. Apparently, he’s telling the newest member of his exclusive club to refuse all requests to share the wealth.

    Suddenly, the winner will have the most loving extended family and will gain many new friends. “Wealth attracts many friends, but a poor man is separated from his friend” Prov 19.4 HCSB. Money moves the world. (More …)

    • Eugene Adkins 7:03 pm on 2016-01-14 Permalink | Reply

      On the lottery…the news was reporting that the lottery was raking in 1 million dollars a minute. I guess we know why they could spare a mere 1 1/2 billion. Neal Pollard wrote a good article on the lottery today (https://preacherpollard.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/check-those-lottery-numbers-closely/).

      On the clothes question/point…I think the commentator made a great point. Identity is key to the context. I also like to think about it in the way that Jesus’ story did when the clothing was referred to in Luke 15:22. In that context, the Father’s robe covered up the evidence of the son’s past life in the far country and it displayed to all who saw it just what family the son belonged to. I think the identity point (and don’t uniforms prove that clothing says something about who we are) hits closest to home, but I still like the forgiveness aspect that can be seen from the lesson in Luke 15.

      • J. Randal Matheny 3:32 am on 2016-01-15 Permalink | Reply

        Good point on the clothes. I also thought about the woman touching the hem of Jesus’ garment. His clothes were, shall we say, but an extension of himself.

  • TFRStaff 4:16 pm on 2015-10-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , preaching   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Personal Notes) 


    The first issue of “Hugh’s News & Views” was sent out on November 11, 2010. That first issue was titled “What’s This?” In it I explained that HNV was a personal medium that would be sent to family, friends, neighbors, fellow Christians, and others who might be interested in receiving it. I said that I would discuss biblical, religious, and spiritual matters, political, social, and cultural matters, recreation, entertainment, and sports matters, and, from time to time, personal and family matters. Today’s edition falls into the latter category. (More …)

  • TFRStaff 5:18 am on 2015-09-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , preaching   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Sweet Memories) 


    As thousands of innocent and naïve young people recently trooped off to college for the first time, I was reminded that sixty years ago I entered Freed-HardemanCollege (now University) in Henderson, Tennessee as a freshman. It was September 1955, and I was seventeen years old. (As a matter of trivia, it also was the month and year that “Gunsmoke” debuted on television). I sometimes wonder where the years have gone. As I recently said while visiting with my old college friend, Jay Lockhart, there has been a lot of water over the dam since we were students at Freed-Hardeman. (More …)

    • James McFerrin 8:33 pm on 2015-09-08 Permalink | Reply

      I enjoyed reading your “Sweet Memories.” I began at TPI (now TTU) in Cookeville, TN in 1954. My wife, Joyce and I celebrated 57 years of marriage Aug. 30. Robert R. Taylor, Jr. tied our knot at Gladeville, TN. I’m not a preacher, but I have taught Bible classes and led singing for sixty plus years.

      I recognized many of the names that you “dropped.” We attend State Line between Fayetteville and Huntsville. Dan and Ancil Jenkins preached some of their first sermons at State Line. I think Dan was 16 when he preached for us and his girl friend, Judy was with him all the way. David Sain has also preached in gospel meetings at State Line.

      Jerry Smelser just happens to be my brother-in-law. His wife, Mildred is my “baby” sister.

  • J. Randal Matheny 8:41 am on 2015-08-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Caitlyn Jenner, , Halloween, , , preaching,   

    It’s a Deal! A Take-It-or-Leave-It Deal! 

    fight-for-topIrks me to no end to hear or read the phrase “preacher for ___ church.” You’ll note that we avoid it in places like Brotherhood News and Forthright Magazine. Sure, Paul can call himself a servant of the church, but the modern phrase comes from a far inferior concept — an employer-employee mentality, exactly part of the problem today in the American church. (More …)

  • TFRStaff 4:52 am on 2015-06-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , preaching   

    Hugh’s News & Views (What Kind Of Preacher . . .) 


    A few weeks ago I wrote under the heading, “Sixty-Two Years of Preaching.” While I do not introduce myself to others as a preacher, and while I do not wear the titles of “Reverend,” “Pastor,” or “Father,” and while I do not wear any special “clerical” garb (either in or out of the pulpit), in spite of it all people still sometimes find out that I am a preacher. When I walk into my local barber shop, one of the barbers always greets me with a loud, “Come in, pastor,” code language for the other customers to watch their language and their jokes because a preacher is on the scene! (Yes, I still go to an old-fashion, “men’s only” barber shop, rather than one of those modern unisex salons!) When people learn that I am a preacher almost immediately their next question is, “What kind of preacher are you?” (More …)

    • James McFerrin 7:37 pm on 2015-06-02 Permalink | Reply

      I finally realized the concept of the church not wearing a name a few years ago. The great Restoration preachers did a good job of preaching the gospel, but somehow failed educate believers that the references to the church in the Scriptures are descriptive terms instead of being the name “Church of Christ,” “Church of God,” etc. Nowhere in the Bible do we find the word church as a proper noun.

  • TFRStaff 2:52 pm on 2015-04-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , preaching   

    Hugh's News & Views (Sixty-Two Years . . .) 


    This year marks sixty-two years since I made my first boyish effort (in the spring of 1953 at the age of 15) to stand before an audience and deliver a sermon. According to my records, that “sermon” was delivered to a little band of Christians gathered on a Sunday afternoon at the LibertySchool House in Walton County, Florida. Soon thereafter I also preached a few times at the small PleasantValleyChurch of Christ in adjoining Holmes County, Florida, and, still later, I spoke one Sunday morning at the GaskinChurch of Christ, north of my boyhood home in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. It was at Gaskin that I had my first public response to the gospel. (More …)

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