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Just Between The Two Of You
In Matthew 18:15 Jesus offers some simple instruction in interpersonal relationships which, if faithfully applied, will make the experience of Christian brotherhood more pleasant and harmonious than it sometimes is.
“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you."
The Lord isn’t suggesting that every fault and offense, intentional or otherwise, be brought before our brother for an accounting. Christian love includes compassion and generosity in dealing with one another’s frailties.
There are circumstances,however, where confrontation is the only appropriate course of action. Under some conditions, love demands it. It may be called for in the interest of a brother’s spiritual welfare, when actual sin is involved and his soul is in danger, which appears to be what Jesus had in mind.
Or, it may be that we should speak to a brother about his offensive attitude or behavior because of our own immaturity; that is, because we lack sufficient love to "bear with one another.·" If this is the case, to speak up is certainly better than to harbor smoldering resentment in our hearts.
Obviously, such a direct approach to interpersonal relationships is not without dangers. However, our own experience tells us that it is far safer than the common alternatives. For one thing, it completely rules out gossip, grumbling, and backbiting.
lf a Christian lacks the love or the courage necessary to follow this rule, let him keep his complaint between himself and God until the Spirit is able to develop those qualities within him.
In the interest of our own happiness and of the unity of the Body of Christ, may God grant us all the desire to yield to Him in this matter!
A Child's Ten Commandments To Parents
1. My hands are small; please don’t expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture, or throw a ball. My legs are short; please slow down so that I can keep up with you.
2. My eyes have not seen the world as yours have; please let me explore safely: don’t restrict me unnecessarily.
3. Housework will always be there. I’m only little for such a short time. Please take this time to explain things to me about this wonderful world, and so willingly.
4. My feelings are tender; please be sensitive to my needs; don’t nag me all day long. (you wouldn’t want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness). Treat me as you would like to be treated.
5. I am a special gift from God; please treasure me as God intended you to do, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by, and disciplining me in a loving manner.
6. I need your encouragement, but not your praise, to grow. Please go easy on the criticism; remember, you can criticize the things I do without criticizing me.
7. Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail; so that I can learn from my mistakes. Then someday I’ll be prepared to make the kind of decisions life requires of me.
8. Please don’t do things over for me. Somehow that makes me feel that my efforts didn’t quite measure up to your expectations. I know it’s hard, but please try not to compare me with my brother or my sister.
9. Please don’t be afraid to leave for the weekend together. Kids need vacations from parents, just as parents need vacations from kids. Besides, it’s a great way to show us kids that your marriage is very special.
10. Please take me to Sunday school and church regularly, setting a good example for me to follow. I enjoy learning more about God.
Dr. Kevin Leman
You'd Never Know It
It is the number one selling book of all time. It is the reason the printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the 1450's. His initial run was 40 copies. It's been printed in astonishing numbers ever since. From 1815 to 1975 2.5 billion copies of it were printed. So many are in print today that no one can know for sure the exact number - estimates are 6 to 10 billion. During 2005, in the United States alone, 25 million copies were sold. (By the way, if any book sells 25 million copies during its entire existence it is deemed phenomenal). Revenue generated from its annual sales is estimated to be 650 million dollars. According to the Bama Group, a research firm, 92% of American households own at least one copy. It is the Bible.
But how do these astonishing statistics manifest themselves? How could I have known that 92% of American households own a Bible unless I read it in a report posted online? Look at the lives of most Americans. Consider what goes on in American households. Consider what we watch, what we say, where we go, who we live with. Who would ever guess that all but 8% of us have easy, daily access to the Word of God?
Despite what you have been told or have been inclined to think, the Bible is nearly everywhere in this world. Even in China, where for years it was outlawed, 50 million copies were sold last year. The Chinese government finally realized that they could ban it they wanted, the people were going to figure out a way to get it, so why not make a profit from it.
Why then, do our lives not reflect this easy access to God's Word? How in the name of common sense could we be debating whether the Boy Scouts should or should not accept homosexuality when 92% of Americans have Bibles in their houses? How are we buying 25 million copies a year and still have millions and millions of souls living in blatant disregard for God?
It goes to show you, my friends, that we are what we are because that is what we defiantly CHOOSE to be. Our disobedience and rebelliousness is not out of innocent ignorance. We CHOOSE to ignore! We CHOOSE to be ignorant. God has made his message of salvation available to us. It's right there on our coffee tables and nightstands, on our bookshelves, and in our glove boxes.
What good are all those Bible sales? What good is the worldwide distribution and availability if we‘re not going to live what we read? Find the Bible that’s in your house. Dust it off. Read it. Live it.
Things That Matter in 2013
Now, as we pack our tinsel and holly from our last Christmas, we realize that quite frankly, we’re exhausted.
And the New Year isn’t likely to grant us much rest. As we rush into a new year packed with goals, meetings and expectations, we must find a moment to pause and refocus. It is critical also to take time to be truly introspective and grateful for our blessings, even as we strive to do better.
It is too easy to fill out our schedules with the activities life seems to require of us, --even church-related activities--, only to look from our planners or mobile devices and realize another year has passed. Let’s purposely schedule time alone with God, meditating on His word as we make plans for 2013.
As parents, it’s great to give our children the opportunities to interact with peers and get exercise, but all the dance classes and soccer in the world can’t replace time spent studying the Bible or serving others as a family.
The recent tragedy in Connecticut shows us clearly the importance of time with our children. They need us more than they need things.
We are closer today to Christ’s triumphant return than any point in history. The time here we have could be decades, years, days or minutes. The evil one seeks to steal those minutes away from us, keeping us mired in the mundane so that we lose sight of the eternal.
As we are the persons who will have to look back…and say…I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I aught…but…what “I” liked. So…may that not ever be said of us. May we dedicate “2013” to doing what we aught – proclaiming “the Good News of Jesus”.
We are heavily involved in studying the Word of God in Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi and Ethiopia and we could use your help. We have students waiting for you to become their precious World Bible School teacher.
For World Bible School and the WBS Team
Deacon in Charge: Brady E. Smith
Teacher – 740-472-1525
Co-Helper: Mary F. Henthorn
Teacher – 740-472-0987
A Love-Song-Singing Preacher
The prophet Ezekiel had been designated by God as the watchman for the house of Israel (Ezekiel 33). In a nutshell, the children of God had chosen to do what they wanted instead of what God commanded. When children choose thusly, very bad things happen. Jerusalem was allowed to be overtaken by the bad guys. Ezekiel was instructed by God to remind the survivors that the pain and anguish they were enduring was the direct consequence of doing what God had told them specifically not to do.
The most interesting words of God in this chapter are those directed toward Ezekiel himself. God informs him that the people are talking about him “by the walls." They are inviting each other to the feet of Ezekiel to listen to his sermons. However, God reminds him that his audience will be there in body only. He will not have their hearts. They will enjoy listening to his words, as he must have had an interesting way of delivering them, but their interest will be limited to the sermon itself. When the sermon is over, they will give those words no more attention. They will forget all that he said.
God said to Ezekiel, ”...you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well. They hear your words but do not put them into practice" (Ezekiel 33:32).
Have you ever become lost in a song? The melody was beautiful. The words, at least the ones you could understand, were meaningful. Maybe you even pulled off onto the side of the road so that you could really soak in the moment. Maybe you've experienced a live performance where the song was so powerful you became overwhelmed with emotion. But when it was over, it was over. You loved the singer, you loved the song, but it did not change your life. lf your life depended upon it you could not re-sing the song word for word, because it just didn't soak in that much. You are not going to put the song into practice. Your life post-song is going to be exactly the same as it was pre-song. You won't love your wife more, hug your kids tighter, be nicer to your employees, or run off to a far-away paradise just because Elvis Presley or Alan Jackson sang that you should.
How are you listening to the preaching of the Gospel? Is it just a song on the radio? Are you willing to ”get lost" in it for twenty or thirty minutes, but when it's over it's over? Are you entering the auditorium expecting to be entertained but not transformed? You are encouraged to take advantage of the time, study, research, prayer, and meditation that goes into each presentation of God's message to you. Take the given scriptures home with you. Read them and pray over them. Allow God's word to make you a better spouse, a better friend, a better believer. This isn't about singing love songs. It's not about sounding great. lt’s not a performance. Preaching God's word week in and week out is about encouraging God's people to accept His grace by being as obedient as we possible can be. As we often pray, may you listen as for eternity.
Newtown, CT Tragedy
The post office has set up a box in Newtown, Connecticut so we can easily send letters or cards to let people there know how much we care. We know there is nothing that can be said or done to help the unspeakable pain they must be feeling, but seeing that others care about their pain might be a small encouragement.
The address is:
P.O. Box 3700
Newtown, CT 06470
You can also donate to the Sandy Hook Support Fund.
Let us keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
Letter From God
My precious friend,
I am sending you this letter by way of one of my disciples. I just wanted to let you know how much I love you and care about you and how I greatly desire to become a meaningful part of your life.
This morning when you awoke, I was already there with you in the light of my beautiful sunshine that filled your room. I was hoping that you would say good morning to Me, you didn’t. So, I thought maybe it was just a little too early in the day for you to notice Me.
Again, I tried to get your attention when you stepped out your door. I kissed your face with a soft gentle breeze. I breathed upon you my fragrant sweet breath scented with flowers. Then I sang you a love song through the birds in the trees. You just walked past Me.
Later on in the day, I watched over you as you were talking with some of your friends. Oh! How I wished that you would talk to Me also. I waited and waited, but you just went along your way.
This afternoon I sent you a refreshing shower and glistened to you from each raindrop. I even shouted to you a time or two with thunder trying to get your attention. Then, I painted you a lovely rainbow in the midst of My fluffy clouds. I just knew you would see Me then, but you were unaware of My presence.
This evening to close your day, I sent you a beautiful sunset. After that, I _winked at you a thousand times through My stars, hoping that you would see Me and wink back. You never did.
Tonight, when you went to bed, I spilled some moonlight upon your face to let you know that I was there for you. I was hoping that you would talk to Me a little while before you went to sleep, You never said a word. It hurt Me deeply, however I continued to watch over you all through the night thinking that maybe, just maybe, you would say hello to Me in the morning.
Each and every day, I have revealed Myself to you in many strange and wondrous ways hoping that you would accept Me as your Shepherd, for I am the only One who can supply you with all your needs. My love for you is deeper than the deepest ocean and bigger than the great blue sky. I have so very much to give you and also share with you. Please let me hear from you soon.
Your Loving Friend Forever,
Giving: That's What Makes An Impact
2012 World Bible School Report
Let’s take a look at the prolonged American political system. A quick glance suggests that the presidential campaigns raised over $2 billion dollars. lt is easy to think that sufficient money for the right political answer will solve America’s woes. True, political problems needs political solutions. Truer, still spiritual problems need spiritual solutions.
The race was close ,and the winner became president of the United States Of America. .. Can political success contribute to spiritual defeat?.. Here’s how... suppose, after exhaustive effort and expense , the winning side celebrates : “ America’s is saved!” l.. Really! Does that reinforce yet another deception, that politics is our nation’s savior. A temporal triumph does little to address America’s greatest needs. Which are spiritual . Placing a person in the White House means nothing for placing any person in Christ.
I know there’s power struggles all over the world.. And l truly appreciate America’s non-violent system . But we need biblical perspectives. American founding fathers quoted many scriptures as they corresponded and prepared for the U.S. Constitution, such as Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things , and desperately wicked : who can know it?: They based separation of powers on that. They argued that all people, leaders Included, are fallen and therefore need checks and balances .. Good political choices can help this process. But to adopt government of the fallen by the fallen for the fallen still leaves them fallen. Neither better education, nor better health policies, nor better economics ever saved a soul.. “Neither is there salvation in any other “ than Jesus Christ .. For there is no other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Does our generosity for Christ’s cause proportionally put theirs to shame?.. Our mission is the real business: saving souls...are you on the...“Front Lines”?
NEW NAMES SENT OUT - 3,397
BAPTISMS THIS YEAR - 210
BAPTISMS FOR 33 YEARS - 4,347
1-MARY HENTHORN - 23 yrs.
2-JEAN ANTILL - 26 yrs.
3- MARIE ROSE - 22 yrs.
4-JERRY ROSE - 22 yrs.
5-DELORIS BURROW - 04 yrs.
6-BRADY SMITH - 32 yrs.
7-COLIN JOHNSON - 15 yrs.
8- MISSY MORRIS - 06 yrs.
9- ETHEL MORRIS - 22 yrs.
:FOR WORLD BIBLE SCHOOL:
BRADY E. SMITH - EDITORIAL
AND THE W.B.S. TEACHERS
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE A TEACHER, CALL MARY HENTHORN at 472-0987 or BRADY SMITH at 472-1525
Think About Such Things
As part of a recent sermon I was attempting to illustrate the futility of relying on worldly entertainment to help ourselves feel better about life. I confessed to a movie theater visit that lasted Eve minutes into the movie before I had to get up and walk out. In conversations that followed you told of similar experiences. It sure is hard to find movies that are well-made, entertaining, and don't produce a guilty conscience. It's even harder to End one of those "Christian-based" films in which the acting isn’t so bad as to make it nearly unwatchable.
Furthermore, we've learned even that G-rated doesn't mean what it once did. In anticipation of a visit by my young niece and nephew I purchased from Wal Mart what I thought was a family-oriented DVD. Something told me to watch it before they arrived, which tumed out to be a wiser decision than buying the thing in the first place. It was animated, geared toward children obviously, but contained way too much bathroom humor and sexual innuendo. I envisioned spending half the time lying to my niece about what certain comments were actually referring to.
Unless you have decided to never take your family to the movies again, and I highly doubt you have decided on that, I have discovered a website that you might find helpful. Pluggedln.com is a site hosted by Focus On The Family. It reviews every film and even most television programs. It also reviews all the latest video games. It literally itemizes every bit of foul language and suggestive material. You can know before you sit down in those theater seats exactly what you‘re in for and make your decisions accordingly. No more “well, I didn't know that was going to be in there or we wouldn't have come".
Again, that's www.pluggedin.com. Check it out before you go, buy, or rent.
Also, and more importantly, check out Philippians 4:8-9.
The New Year. How Shall We Enter?
Two Thousand Thirteen is upon us. How shall we approach it? No two people enter into the New Year with exactly the same emotions. Some enter with fear and reluctance while others enter with optimism and enthusiasm. None of us can look into the future, for God in his great mercy and wisdom has kept the future veiled from our eyes. Thus, we must make our entrance into 2013 in faith. Paul stated, (2 Corinthians 5:7). "For we live by faith, not by sight."
Looking to the future will be governed by the way we look at the present. Looking around us today we must not permit the successes or the failures of the past to defeat victorious living in the here and now. Neither must we allow the fear of the future to rob us of contentment today. The prayer of serenity should express our attitude: "God grant me the serenity. to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference?"
Today is all we have. The past is gone. The future never comes because it is always made up of today’s. Thus, to insure that all of our today’s are worthwhile we must be people of faith. The writer of Proverbs admonished us; "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6). The psalmist wrote: "This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalms 118:24).