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). Continue reading

#christian-unity, #culture, #forgiveness, #random-thoughts

Random thoughts…otherwise known as corollaries to one guy I know

Here’s some random thoughts…or maybe corollaries. I don’t know – you decide.

A few days ago I decided to sit down with my four-year-old daughter and show her some Three Stooges videos. She’s a fan now. The first thing out of her mouth was, “Why isn’t there any color?” The last thing was, “I want to watch the 3 Stewards again.” I can think of a Bible lesson about 3 stewards where one acted like a stooge. Can you? Here’s a hint (Matthew 25:14-30).

Speaking of stooges, have you ever wondered what a real life “high place” would look like today? Read this and you’ll see.

Since “politics” is now on the table, I heard that the court-system has decided that North Carolina’s bathroom-bill is unlawful because it “violates” the civil-rights act. Talk about a civil-wrong! So members of the opposite sex now have a “civil-right” to use the bathroom of their choice? How can we boycott the courts along with Target? And don’t forget to pray.

Speaking of prayer, when’s the last time you thanked God for answering your prayers? If you pay attention to most prayers in the Bible you’ll see that thanksgiving was as much a part of the prayer as asking for reasons to give thanks. I know it’s not November, but thanksgiving is never a bad attitude to have.

Things that seem out of season aren’t always so bad. There are a lot more than 4 seasons out there! So enjoy the blessings of life in the middle of the burdens, and use the yoke of Jesus to carry the burdens in the middle of good times. Sow for a spiritual harvest and look for low hanging fruit at the same time.

Well, I don’t know if my list is technically a corollary line-up, but I don’t think they’re hardly as random as I sometimes think they are.

#corollaries, #morality, #random-thoughts, #thanksgiving

A Few Randomly Ordered Thoughts

I like my sense of humor even if other people don’t get it. As we were getting ready to leave the other day a song from one of my daughter’s CDs was playing that she didn’t like, so while pointing to the radio she asked where the skipper was. I replied, “He’s on the boat.” Like most adults, she didn’t laugh at my joke.

For every physical sense (of the major 5) that we have there is spiritual one that correlates:

  • Touch – 1 Timothy 4:1-2
  • Sight – John 9:25
  • Hearing – John 8:43, 47
  • Taste – 1 Peter 2:2-3
  • Smell – Philippians 4:18

Do you sense a disturbance in the force? I saw a Campbell’s soup commercial the other day where a “father” was using the famous “Darth” voice to tell his “son” that he was his father. Then another man’s voice his heard saying that he was the boy’s “father”. Chicken Noodle may be good for the soul, but Campbell’s moral message is a poisonous one for children, our culture and one’s relationship with the Father of spirits.

Spiritual growth is essential. One cannot expect to properly grow strong without growing up. Hebrews 5:13-14 says, “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” We can all experience spiritual setbacks from time-to-time, but maturity is seen in one’s ability to identify the wrong in his or her life without a brother or sister in Christ having to constantly remind or even rebuke us about it. So when it comes to study and application, are we always depending upon someone else to feed us, or are we able to set our own table?

Maybe these thoughts weren’t so random after all (although the order still applies)…every paragraph has at least one word theme in common. Trust me, it didn’t happen on purpose. Well maybe the last paragraph would be an exception. Because even a little randomness ends up making sense every now and then.

#homosexual-agenda, #random-thoughts, #sense-of-humor, #spiritual-correlations, #spiritual-maturity

A picture, a question and story about prayer walk into TFR

A picture, a question and a story about prayer walk into TFR…and no, this isn’t a joke (and some would find the use of a double-negative even less funny!).

The picture: Here’s a rather dizzying picture from my back yard. It’s the branches of my cork-screw willow tree thoroughly covered in ice; and it’sIcy Tangled Mess also my computer wallpaper for now. Unfortunately the ice was enough to break off the top seven or eight feet of this tree.

The question: How big were Samson’s muscles? Seriously. Every picture drawn of him is comparable to someone who has won the “Mr. Universe” award, but if memory serves me correctly (and maybe it doesn’t) the Bible never describes his physical stature. Did his muscles have to be abnormally large? Perhaps it’s a “useless question”, but then again maybe it’s not. Think about it – it might just be a matter of faith.

The story: The story isn’t a joke, or then again maybe it is. I don’t remember where I got it from; I’ve had it lying around in the ole’ computer filing cabinet for quite a while. Either way, it’s yours to use to the glory of God’s truth. “A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed, ‘Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late! Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late!’ While she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again! As she ran she once again began to pray, ‘Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late… But please don’t push me either!’” You know there’s a lesson in there just waiting to be told.

#bible-questions, #pictures, #random-thoughts, #stories

It's a small, but still very strange and sad, world

This past Sunday, after services at Keltonburg, my family and I, along with one of the elders, went to a neighboring congregation to enjoy a meal given in honor of the congregation’s new preacher and also in appreciation of those who had helped to fill the pulpit vacancy over the last few months. So while we were there I asked one of the members about the new preacher who in turn gave me their name and then pointed them out to me…and wouldn’t you know it, it was TFR’s own, John Henson, all the way down from Michigan right here in middle Tennessee. Small world indeed! I enjoyed getting to talk to John for a few minutes. It’s always neat when you get to put a person to the computer screen. Along with John, I have had the privilege of personally meeting Randal, Barbara, Michael, and John Galloway (hope I didn’t leave anyone out); along with other writers from the Forthright Ezine work.

I was watching the news the other day, something that doesn’t happen very much, and I heard a lady talking about global warming. She said, and I quote, “We’re not talking about a theory here, we’re talking about a fact.” Strange, I’ve told atheistic evolutionists that I believe there is a clear distinction between a theory and a fact only to be ridiculed by them. Strange indeed.

Saw a story on an Internet news site that said over 54 or 55 million dollars has already been spent on the trial for the Colorado theater murderer. That’s sad! How can it take that much money to convict someone who clearly, and without a shred of doubt, took so much from people? Unfortunately it sounds more like a system at work than it does justice.

The world truly is a small place in light of so many common variables, and yet it is still a very strange and sad place due to humanity’s stubbornness and resistance to God’s will in Christ Jesus. May we all take the blessings of life for what they are – blessings! And may we see past the obstacles that block our way to the goal.

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:10-13)

#fellows, #random-thoughts, #world-view

A few randomly ordered thoughts

Earlier this week I took a work-related trip to Memphis for several days. One small blessing of the trip? I drove West in the morning and in the evening I drove East. Think about it.

Last Sunday morning we worshiped with the Great Oaks church of Christ just outside of Memphis. I found them on the Internet. It was a larger congregation (400+) but I was impressed by the fact that several people noticed we weren’t members there. I thought that was a good sign. The people who sat around us were also friendly and talkative. If you ever find yourself in the area I would suggest dropping by and spending some time with them.

More in the Middle Tennessee area than West? Near White County? If so, the Findlay congregation of Sparta, TN is hosting the fall session (West Sparta will host the spring session) of the White County Christian Training Series. You don’t have to live in White County to attend. I don’t live in White County and I’ve been there several times. If you go, tell Joe Neal or Dwight Fuqua that I said, hello. The classes are held each Monday night in November and the topics will be “Faith Under Fire” and “Growing in Grace”.

If you live in Tennessee (or anywhere else that does daylight savings time) don’t forget to set your clocks back 1 hour before you go to bed tomorrow night (and by tomorrow night I mean the date of 11/01/2014).

Speaking of tomorrow, I will be celebrating my daughter’s birthday with a party. Mostly just standing by and watching I guess. I’m so grateful that she’s healthy and growing like a kid her age should – but that growing up part…that’s what I don’t look forward to. Just saying. Know what I mean? Life, right?

I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; and God requires an account of what is past.” (Ecclesiastes 3:14-15)

#random-thoughts, #travel

Some Random Thoughts

I guess yesterday’s post would’ve made a little more sense, maybe, if the 3rd paragraph wouldn’t have gotten deleted somehow in the post process. I’ve seen weirder things happen.

America sure is starting out the year with a foot placed firmly on a spiritual banana peel. The boy scouts are encouraging and endorsing sexual perversion and confusion in young children by allowing “homosexual children” to join their ranks. So much for the “oath” that says: “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” Also, in case you didn’t hear about it, the President’s wife congratulated Robin Roberts on being a homosexual – because that’s quite an accomplishment! America has even decided to ring in the New Year by having a float in the “Dreams Come True” Rose Parade celebrating homosexual marriages by having two men “get married” during the event. It’s funny how people can confuse a dream with reality – and the reality is, no matter how much people may try to change the definition of marriage, marriage will always be a relationship reserved for one and one woman. That’s why they had to change it to begin with. Playing games with words and laws doesn’t change the truth.

Looking for a New Year’s resolution? Don’t blame you if you’re not, but just in case you are here’s an idea.

One verse that comes to mind, biblically speaking, when I think of New Year’s is: “Let this month be to you the first of months, the first month of the year.” (Exodus 12:2) The context is talking about the institution of the Passover for the children of Israel. Freedom from Egypt made possible by the grace of God through the blood of the lamb – what a sight that would’ve been! Eclipsed only by the freedom from sin made possible by the grace of God through the blood of the lamb (John 1:29) – a sight that still has things to be seen! While others continue to “live it up”, waiting for a new year to roll around to make a difference in our life is pointless – waiting upon the God who can make a difference at any time of the year is where the power is at (Psalm 123; Mark 13:31-37).

I’ll leave you with a saying that you might find useful – “If you chase two rabbits you’re guaranteed to catch none.” I don’t remember where I heard that from, but it makes a lot of sense to a country person.


Random Thoughts (and a few links) for the Weekend

Doc Phillips, who is one of the fellows here in TFR, wrote a post on his congregation’s blog that includes some powerful examples of some individuals hunger for the word of God and then makes a couple of applications for the American culture to consider. Check it out sometime. I’m going to use it in our bulletin soon enough.

It has been said and asked, and rightly so, “Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:5) Talk about a timeless truth that still preaches! In a recent story about the Navy’s first supercarrier, the USS Forrestal, it was revealed that this ship, which once wore the title of the world’s biggest ship ever built, could be set to be sold for a penny – yes, I said one little lowly ole’ American penny! The ship “which took an estimated $217 million — nearly $2 billion in today’s dollars — to build” didn’t necessarily see its value fly away, but it sure did sink like a rock while staying afloat, didn’t it?

The “pope” recently took action against a “bishop” who was living in a multi (and I mean multi) million dollar residence according to this story. It was said that “pope” “Francis has made clear he expects his bishops to live simply, setting as an example his own humble lifestyle.” I guess that’s his way of saying no one is allowed to live in a more expensive residence or carry a bigger cross made of solid gold than him!

This coming Sunday morning in Bible class we’re going to look at the basic layout of the Tabernacle of God that Moses and the children of Israel built. We started the study last week and I think it’s going to continue to be a profitable one. The Tabernacle has a lot of shadowy, not dark but shadowy, lessons that can be revealed and learned by today’s Christians through the light of the Gospel (Hebrews 8:5; 9:9, 23 and 2 Corinthians 3). From learning to have the proper mindset toward sin, God and the atonement that He offers to the way that Jesus can be seen in the Tabernacle’s furnishings I’m looking forward to studying this series out with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Look for a way to help someone see the Way today!

#links, #pope, #random-thoughts, #riches, #tabernacle, #the-word-of-god

Random Thoughts

I saw a news story this morning with the heading “Watch: Parliament Singing After New Zealand Legalizes Gay Marriage Will Make You Cry.” I didn’t watch the video but I still cried. Why? Because of the doom that the western culture is bringing upon itself. My article in this week’s bulletin is called “Cultural Meltdown” and it discusses how moral relativism has relatively supplanted any moral backbone in most western governments with wet spaghetti. It’ll probably be up on “Keltonburg Preacher” sometime next week. Here’s a link to a good article to read in the meantime.

Want to keep a great scripture in mind today? How about this one: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33) This verse isn’t saying that a person can’t understand God’s will when it comes to being saved; in the context it’s talking about how God is able to use the obstinacy and vacancy of one heart to reign in and fill the hearts of others at the same time. That’s rich!

Did you know that Elvis’ copy of the Bible once sold at auction for $96,000!? That can rock your soul, huh? I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that one.

We had a great night at Keltonburg this past Wednesday. One woman, named Shelia, who’s been visiting with us for quite sometime was baptized into Jesus! She was born again of the water and of the Spirit. This Sunday morning I’ll be in John 3:1-10 which includes the topic of the new birth. It can be so frustrating when people equate the water of John 3:3-5 with the “natural” birth of the earth instead of the new birth from Heaven. Never forget the context! Jesus was talking to a man who belonged to a group that had rejected John’s preaching and John’s baptism. By doing so they had rejected the birth that came by the will of God – they had rejected being born again through the water and the Spirit! We often times make things so much more complicated than what they are.

How often do you plan to smile today? How about pray? How help others? How about hug your children? How about hug your spouse? How about sing to God? How about letting God speak to you in His word? I guess we’ll all find out in about a second or two.

I don’t know the source but I remember hearing a quote quite a while back that went something like, “If you want to keep kids out of hot water then put some dishes in it.” How valuable is a good work ethic to children? I think honest work leads to good ethics and so it seems that the Bible agrees (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).

#god, #homosexuality, #new-birth, #random-thoughts, #work-and-ethics

Random Thoughts

I watched the final episode of The History’s Channels “The Bible” last night. In my humble opinion, which is based upon what a person would actually read in the Bible, the further into the Bible the show got, the worse it got! There were a couple of moments that were done really well last night, but for the most part it seemed as if the directors, producers, actors or whomever, had decided that there wasn’t much point in following what the Bible actually says and instead decided to follow what they think the Bible says or what they think it should say. This is so very unfortunate because the TV show that was supposedly meant to educate people has only added to the growing sources of biblical ignorance that are so readily available…goes to show you that there’s more than more way to waste millions of dollars on error.

I got an email this weekend about a product called the TV Guardian. Does anyone know much or anything about this product? The makers/sellers claim that it has the ability to filter out foul language from TV shows and movies. I talked to one brother who’s in the satellite business and he said that he had seen them before but he wasn’t really able to give me a thumb’s up or down. If you know anything about the product, speak up because if it does 90% of what it claims I think it would be worth the money.

Have you ever thought about how God not only sees what we do during the day, but that He also sees what we dream at night?

I saw a member of the catholic “hierarchy” get interviewed on CBS’ Sunday Morning yesterday. I hope they realize there’s a difference in “hierarchy” and “heirarchy.” They have one, but they don’t have the other! I also heard the man push the false catholic notion that the church “moved” from Jerusalem to Rome. Of course the church moved to Rome, just like it moved to Ephesus, Corinth, Berea, etc. Now what the man meant is that the “mother” church moved from Jerusalem to Sinai…I mean Rome. The Christians in Galatia were reminded about the origins of the church, an origin that the catholic church can’t lay claim to (Galatians 4:21-26). And by the way, may we never forget that the church has only one Head, and the Head of the church sits upon His throne in Heaven because He carried a wooden cross to victory – not a gold one (Colossians 1:18, Acts 2:29-36).

#biblical-ignorance, #catholicism, #dreams, #god, #history-channel, #random-thoughts, #technology, #tv

Here’s a Few Randomly Ordered Thoughts

I’m going to “borrow” one of Randal’s post themes to share a few thoughts with you this morning:

I have bought my last bag of Oreo’s! Don’t know why? Google “Oreo and Controversy” and you’ll probably find out real quick. I’ll do just fine with the generic version of the cookie.

A young man came walking through the county I live in the other day while carrying a cross (on wheels of course). He had decided to walk from Texas to Washington D.C. to draw attention to the nation’s behavior and to raise money for missions that were important to him. The local radio station caught up with him to ask him what was going on. In the interview he said when he got to D.C. that he was going to hold a prayer service and pray that the nation’s leaders would listen with their heart and make the right choices. I’m not knocking the young man’s intentions, there are several things admirable about them, but the whole reason that America is suffering from some of the problems we have is that our leaders are already listening with their own hearts instead of listening to God’s word! (see also 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Daniel 5:18-28 and Proverbs 13:34)

I love being a father. My first child has taught me two things. Lesson One: I can understand how some parents could want to have 7 children! Lesson Two: I can understand how some parents could want to stop at one! 🙂

I saw a story about a couple who tore down a $4.2 million mansion just so they could have a better view! I don’t know about you, but it sounds like they’re doing better than all right in this economy. I can think of a Bible verse or two that describes the foolishness of such behavior too.

Want to know a simple way to make your wife smile guys? Put supper up in the fridge when they cooked enough for leftovers on purpose, but they’ve forgotten about it because they’re doing “little things” like bathing and dressing and feeding and putting your child to bed. She got up this morning and remembered that she didn’t put up the food, only to find that “super-man” had saved her day. Maybe I should have referred to myself as “supper-man” instead. I love being married. My wife and her family have helped me in ways that I can’t even explain.

I’ll be back with a sermon outline for Psalm 71 in my next post. It’ll be the “bare bones” but I promise it’ll help you preach the text (one worth preaching I might add) without a problem.

#america, #greed, #marriage, #politics, #random-thoughts