Grudges

Man Plowing

Holding a Grudge Can Be Costly…

One day a visitor leaned on the old fence around a farm while he watched an old farmer plowing with a mule.  After a while, the visitor said, “I don’t like to tell you how to run your business, but you could save yourself a lot of work by saying ‘Gee’ and ‘Haw’ to that mule instead of just tugging on those lines.”

The old farmer pulled a big handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his face.  Then he said, “Reckon you’re right, but this animal kicked me five years ago and I ain’t spoke to him since.”

The moral of the story seems obvious.  A grudge is harder on the one who holds it than the one it is held against.

The apostle Paul said that we are to forgive one another if any man have a quarrel against any.  Just like Christ forgave us, we are to forgive each other (Colossians 3:13).

Friend, if God and Christ can extend mercy on you for your sins, surely you can be merciful to those who offend you.

Photo above from: http://buckcreek.tripod.com/

My SOURCE for the article: Church bulletin of Third and Bethel Streets church of Christ, Box 251, Mammoth Spring, AR, 72554.  This church produces the Fulton County Gospel News.

–David Lemmons

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Without Wax

 

Without Wax

The word “etymology” comes from a Greek word meaning “the true sense of a word.” The study of the etymology (i.e., the origin and historical development) of words can often be very rewarding. One word which has a most interesting history and should be of great interest to all of us who seek to serve the Lord is the word, “SINCERE.” In his book, How to Succeed with Your Money, George M Bowman writes concerning this word…

You see, the word “sincere” comes from two Latin words meaning “without wax.” Artificers of Middle Eastern countries fashioned highly expensive statuettes out of a very fine porcelain. It was of such fragile nature that extreme care had to be taken when firing the figurines to keep them from cracking. Dishonest dealers would accept the cracked figurines at a much lower price and then fill the cracks with wax before offering them for sale.But honest merchants would display their uncracked porcelain wares with signs that read, “sine cera,” “without wax.”

Certainly the Christian is one who is sincere in all that he does. We must be “without wax,” if you will. Being in the sort of surroundings that we find ourselves in this first part of the 21st century in America, we have many influences that would call for us to put the label “SINE CERA” on the work that we do as Christians. We must let the world know that Christians do not behave themselves in a way that is dishonest. We must let it be known that we are guided by the biblical system of ethics and that to behave in the way that those ancient dealers of damaged statuettes did is foreign to such ethical standards. We must be sure not to allow the world’s standards to replace our only reliable guidebook, the Bible.

And yet, these challenges are sometimes more difficult than we might fully appreciate if we are not as reflective as we need to be. All around us is dishonesty. All around us is the lack of sincerity. Everywhere we look, there is WAX and WAX and more WAX. How do we live in a sincere way? How do we live without wax?

One great aid for the Christian to be sincere and to understand the importance of sincerity in all of our dealings is to read and benefit from the wisdom of Solomon in the book of Proverbs. We can learn much about how God views dishonesty and lack of sincerity by such reading. Let us consider some of what the wise man reveals for our use.

We learn that a lying tongue is one of the things which God HATES from Proverbs 6:16-19. I would suggest that it is a seldom appreciated blessing, among God’s people, to be able to know that which our God hates. Think about being in the position of the ancient heathens and participating with them in their great fear of offending their “gods.” Paul gives us a clue about how fearful they were of offending their gods by his mention of the building of an EXTRA altar to the “unknown god” (Acts 17:23). Lest they make a tragic mistake of offending a god by leaving him out, they would actually go to the expense and trouble of building an EXTRA altar. How useful and instructive and beneficial to know that our God hates a lying tongue! How different is our God from the false gods heathens worship! If God hates lying, does this not tell us that we must also hate lying? If God hates lying, then surely we will avoid it at all costs!

Dishonesty in business dealings is an abomination to God (Prov 11:1; 20:10; 20:23). The use of false weights in the measuring of goods is here condemned by God. This practice would be comparable to the covering up of the cracks with the use of wax by those dishonest dealers spoken of earlier.

Furthermore, we see that a lying tongue is but for a moment (Prov 12:19). We see that lying lips are an abomination to the Lord (Prov 12:22). God hates false witness to the degree that there will be punishment without escape to the guilty one (Prov 19:5). In graphic terms the wise man states that some day all burning, deceitful lips and lying tongues shall be like the one who digs a pit and falls in it; like the one pushing a stone which rolls back upon him (Prov 26:23-28).

Sadly, sometimes brethren make agreements and fail to live up to them. Sometimes church leaders agree to support evangelistic efforts and then fail to come through with the agreed upon support. Sometimes agreements are made regarding cooperative efforts among brethren, and then those agreements turn out, in the heat of the noonday sun, to have been held together with wax. What a sad day it is when agreements among brethren have to be labeled “sine cera,” because some brethren are not willing to abide by that to which they have agreed. Let’s get back to the respect for and the treasuring of biblical sincerity. Surely we, of all people, can most appreciate the importance of a sincere way of life.

–David Lemmons

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The Christian Reader

Some fine young preachers have come together to present to interested students of the Bible some well reasoned and helpful Bible study materials. These come forth monthly, I believe. They are available online. I’ve judged it well worthy of my own time to read and encourage you likewise to do so. I am listing below the two issues that I know of online.  First, there is the May 2007 issue (a PDF file) which is centered on The Miraculous Age. Please click H-E-R-E.

  • The Purpose of Miracles, by Roger Scully
  • Impartation & Reception of Miraculous Gifts, by Adam Comeaux
  • Speaking in Tongues, by Cade Somers
  • Miracles Have Ceased, by Jacob Campbell

Then, we have the June 2007 issue, which is a part one of a two-part series on Marriage, Divorce, & Remarriage. Please click H-E-R-E.

  • Marriage, by Roger Scully
  • The Institution of Marriage, by Cade Somers
  • Permanence of Marriage, by Adam Comeaux
  • Fidelity in Marriage, by Jacob Cambpell

These brethren have done some excellent writing here and we are thankful for their love of the truth and their careful study of God’s Word.

–David Lemmons

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TALC Index Update…

I do not know much about E.A. Elam. I know that he began a series of annually produced books for the study of the Bible, which originally were called, “Elam’s Notes,” and then later TEACHER’S ANNUAL LESSON COMMENTARY, and now they are called COMPANION. I doubt that brother Elam would have realized that what he began would still be continuing some 85 years later, but such is the case.

You can learn more about E.A. Elam by clicking H-E-R-E.

I am indebted to my friend, Dave Dugan, for the photo above and for the link to further information about E.A. Elam. Dave responded to the earlier post about indexing the annual lesson commentaries. He has an extensive collection of these volumes and has indicated a desire to help with creating an index. He also informed me that there exists a partial index through 1969 in book form. We still agree that an online, searchable, index would be a big help. Dave has pitched in to help on this project by sending me indices for four more volumes.

The list of volumes we have now indexed and made available online includes the following…

1923… 1925… 1926… 1934… 1948… 1951… 1957… 1962… 1963… 1964… 1967… 1969… 1971… 1972… 1973… 1974… 1975… 1976… 1981… 1982… 2000… 2001… 2002… 2003… 2004… 2005

You may reach an HTM copy by clicking H-E-R-E or you can find a PDF copy H-E-R-E.

–David Lemmons

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TALCs


The photo above is reduced to fit on the page, but it represents the copy of the Teacher’s Annual Lesson Commentary (TALC), which is oldest among my collection of 22 such volumes. This is the 1934 issue which is actually the 13th issue (going all the way back to the beginning of Elam’s Notes). John T. Hinds is the author/editor of this particular volume.

I love these TALCS! There are always 52 Bible Study lessons in each volume–one for each Lord’s Day of the year. A particular Bible text or Bible Topic is studied and in most of them, there is also a “Golden Text,” which is also studied or commented upon by the writer.

I have heard some, even of my own brethren, make disparaging remarks about these simple volumes, but such remarks have never caused me to love them any less. It would thrill my soul to have a complete collection of them. If you have any setting around you’d like to get rid of, I would be happy to give them a GOOD HOME. Please send them to me.

Since the actual writer does not put his name in the preface, for a long time, I did not know the authors. However, I found an early 80s issue of Gospel Advocate which listed the writers from 1922 through 1980. For your information, they are listed here…

1922-1929… E.A. Elam
1930-1931… H. Leo Boles
1932-1936… John T. Hinds
1937-1944… R.L. Whiteside
1945… H. Leo Boles
1946… Guy N. Woods
1947-1957… Roy H. Lanier, Sr.
1958-1972… Leslie G. Thomas
1973… Thomas B. Warren
1974… J.C. Choate
1975-1979… Rex Turner
1980… Cecil N. Wright

From the 22 issues of this annual volume that I possess, I have constructed an index. The index includes such information as (i.e., when available): (1) Consecutive Number of the issue; (2) Author; (3) Titles of the Lessons for the 52 weeks; (4) Passages dealt with in the lessons; (5) Golden Texts. This information has been reduced to a single file which I have now uploaded to my website. If you would like to take a look at the index, you can find an HTML copy H-E-R-E; or you can find a PDF copy H-E-R-E. These files can be searched then by using the Control + F keys.

I am confident that this index can serve as another helpful database of information to those who have copies of these volumes. I am sure there are many preachers out there who have some of these volumes and a Scripture index might prove to be very helpful when doing work on a sermon or manuscript some time.

I would like to build a complete index of all issues. If you would like to join in the project, please send your information and we will put it together. I begin with 22 volumes, but hope to expand it from time to time.

David Lemmons

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Saddam Failed

This is a portion of a photo (cropped out), taken in my recent trip to the Creation Museum.  In case you are not able to read the card above, it says…

SNATCHED FROM SADDAM’S CLUTCHES…Before he was removed from power in 2003, the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ordered all Torah scrolls destroyed throughout Iraq.  But several scrolls, such as this fragment, were saved from destruction. Efforts to destroy God’s Word have met similar resistance throughout history.This scroll, written on sheepskin, tells the entire story of Noah, from Genesis 4:21 to 10:13.  A Hebrew University scholar identified both the paper and the script as approximately 300 years old.

–David Lemmons

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A Visit to the Creation Museum

Diane and I enjoyed a visit to the Creation Museum last Friday. I have posted before regarding this place and you can read that post by clicking H-E-R-E. From that post you can retrieve some of the details that I will not mention here. The website for the museum itself is found H-E-R-E.

We were at the door at 10:00 a.m., the advertised opening time. Already a line had formed to purchase tickets, but at least the waiting was inside in the cool, (perhaps you can see from the ticket above that it took us 34 minutes). I was amazed all day at the size of the crowd. It is certainly encouraging to me that there were this many people interested in learning more about creation and how to give answer to the evolutionists. However, quite honestly, it was just a bit inconvenient to stand in lines all day. I am not sure if Friday is an especially busy day or if they are all about the same. There were professional security people to help us park our car and get inside. All of the personnel here were very nice and friendly.

I’ve read from one of Ken Hamm’s blogs that a big day at the museum is about 3800 and that already in their first ten weeks they have had 150,000 visitors.

My sweet wife has a slight (did I really say SLIGHT) problem with claustrophobia. As a result, we sort of took the JET tour through portions of the exhibit. Some of them were dark and confining and pretty much like being inside a cave. Nonetheless, we spent about 5 ½ hours there, counting our lunch time in “Noah’s Café.” Sometime I would like to return and take the TURTLE tour.

The entire museum is quite impressive. A multitude of facts are paraded before your eyes in various media. There are endless video monitors suspended from varying angles, armed with 1 to 3 minute video presentations. These monitors are close-captioned also, which is convenient when there are so many viewing the displays (noise from whom sometimes prevent the audio from being received completely). The flood portion of the tour is a shining point of interest and attractively constructed. How refreshing and DIFFERENT it was to be touring through such an expansive and expensive facility centered on ORIGINS and be presented with an alternative to atheistic or theistic evolution! I enjoyed it thoroughly!

The “Men in White” Theater has its own surprises for those entering in and I would certainly recommend that you enter. I’ll not go into the details, but I am confident it will be something you have not experienced before. Even with standing in line a few minutes it surely was worth the effort.

Before my visit I was advised that the Planetarium would be worth the extra $5.00. I am thankful that I accepted that advice and stood in line for it. It surely helped to give this old feeble mind a little better concept of the vast distances and sizes of outer space. I am sure there is no device known to man today to do such adequately, but this must have come the closest I’ve ever come to it so far. It was something else!

However, to me it is a source of amazement and confounds me no end how such men as the ANSWERS IN GENESIS men can be so intelligent and wise in matters relating to origins and be so foolish with regard to salvation matters. They do have a brief (less than 30 minutes) video regarding salvation at the end of the tour in their “Last Adam Theater.” Their presentation leaves off baptism as if Jesus HAD NOT connected it in His own words of Mark 16:16. We are saddened by that lack of understanding of such an easily understood statement from our Lord.

I am made to rejoice, however, as my overall impression that such a place as this exists in our land to stir the thoughts of people BACK TO THE BIBLE.

–David Lemmons