Nice AD

There are lots of things out there on the internet, but this ad I just checked out is an interesting way to use the internet in spreading the gospel message.  Check it out here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij9EkPKcaGQ

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Nice Tie

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo above, but this is a photo (my wife took) of a NICE TIE!!!  My friends, the Loftons, from Kentucky gave me this tie before I left KY.  This tie features photos of Maverick Aiden Simmons, my grandson. 

After arriving in Georgia and waiting a couple of weeks, I wore the tie on a Wednesday.  I made a trip to the local Wal-Mart and was shocked at the attention this tie generated among the customers and workers there.  A great number of TOTAL STRANGERS came up to me and complimented the tie.  It was amazing!  Evidently, Georgians are behind Kentuckians in modern-day photography because they seemed never to have seen such ties as the one I had worn.  Or, maybe it was just the good looks of Maverick to which credit should go.

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Helpmeet

SOURCE: Guy N. Woods, in Teacher’s Annual Lesson Commentary, 1946, pages 156-157.

An Helpmeet Made for Man (Genesis 2:18).

And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.” The Revised Version has a marginal note over the words “help meet,” which reads “answering to,” that is, woman is an help answering to man’s needs. The Jewish commentary by Hertz offers these comments on this passage: “‘It is not good.’ From this verse the Rabbis deduce that marriage is a divine institution, a holy estate in which alone man lives his true and complete life. Celibacy is contrary to nature. ‘A help.’ A wife is not a man’s shadow or subordinate, but his other self, his ‘helper’ in a sense in which no other creature on earth can be. ‘Meet for him.’ To match him. The Hebrew term k’negdo may mean either ‘at his side,’ i.e., fit to associate with; or, ‘as over against him,’ i.e., corresponding to him.”

The practice of celibacy, to live in an unmarried state is, therefore, contrary to the design of God who created us. It is a sad commentary on man’s perverted character to note that great portions of the human family subscribe to the view that it is better to live an ascetic and hermitic life than to live as God ordained. As Clarke observes, “As man was made a social creature, it was not proper that he should be alone: for to be alone, i.e., without a matrimonial companion, was not good, whether it be on the side of the man or the woman. Men may, in opposition to the declaration of God, call this a state of excellence and a state of perfection; but let them remember that the word of God says the reverse.”

Woman’s Origin

SOURCE: Teacher’s Annual Lesson Commentary, 1981, page 17.

Origin of Woman (Genesis 2:21-23).

And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

The creation of woman was something special, above even the creation of man. While man was made from the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7) and was dust refined, woman was made from man and was dust doubly refined. On the average, she has a smaller physique than man, finer features, and a more delicately poised emotional nature. She is referred to in scripture as a “weaker vessel” (1 Peter 2:7)—not that she is inferior mentally and certainly not biologically, but is weaker physically—having only about two-thirds the physical strength of a man her size.

In the making of woman, God performed the first surgical operation. And, like a modern surgeon, he put the patient to sleep—into a “deep sleep”—in order to make the operation painless. Opening up the side, he took a rib therefrom and closed up the flesh again. And the rib “builded he into” a woman, so scholars say the Hebrew text reads literally. While beyond our comprehension and certainly beyond man’s ability to perform, this need not surprise us, for scientists think they have discovered that every cell of the body carries within it a code for the structure of the body as a whole. But the point of primary significance is that the first woman was actually a part of the first man—bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, as he expressed it, either by inspiration of God or as a result of God’s explanation to him of what he had done. That is why he called her “woman” (Hebrew, ishah, feminine of ish), the male of the species called adam, which was also a proper name of the first man as Eve (Hebrew, havah, living, or life) was of the first woman.

The manner of the woman’s creation and the general teaching of the scriptures relative to the divinely intended relationship between man and woman, led Matthew Henry to express beautifully the sentiment that woman was “not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved.” And the scriptures speak of woman as “the glory of the man” (1 Corinthians 11:7). Every step and stage of her creation and presentation to man was designed to make her special in his sight, far above any animal that had been created, and for the enoblement of marriage between man and woman.

Incidentally, only one woman was made for the one man, and monogamous marriage was God’s intention for the race. Also, woman did not evolve from a lower form of life, as Adam did not; but both came into existence by special creation by the Almighty. And for either a man or woman to deign to mate with an animal was considered degrading and worthy of death (See Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 18:23; 20:15-16; Deuteronomy 27:21).

Dating

SOURCE:  Good News for YOUth, June-July 1999

Why Date a Christian?

by Paul Meacham, III

“And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen 2:18).  Throughout the creation account God said, “It is good,” until He came to Adam’s being alone.  It was at this time that He made Eve to be “an help meet (suitable) unto him” (Gen 2:18).

When God chose a mate for man, He chose one who would be a helper.  When we begin the process of finding a mate, dating, we should be just as interested in finding one who will help us go to heaven.  Therefore, we should date Christians.

When dating, many young people do not think seriously about marriage.  Many view dating as a chance to have fun and nothing more.  After dating a non-Christian, they marry a non-Christian and find themselves in a difficult situation.  Some do not take dating seriously because they believe they have the power to get out of any situation no matter how difficult the situation becomes.  The truth is, the worse the situation becomes the harder it is to get out of.

We have a warning given in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Be not deceived evil companionships corrupt good morals.”  You are probably thinking, “No way!  My companions are not evil!”  Ask yourself these questions:
        Are they helping you attain your goal, heaven?

        If not, are they actively hindering you?  They are doing
             one or the other.

        If the people you date use bad language, drink, smoke
             take drugs in any form, frequent places you know a
             Christian cannot go, or try to get you to do anything
             you should not do, then why do you date them?

        Is that person’s company worth risking your soul?

As young people, our companions often influence us.  Sometimes we are pressured into doing things we would not do otherwise.  This is especially true of those we date.  They tend to exert a great influence over us, both on and off a date.  If we date non-Christians, then the influence will not be an influence for good.  Additionally, if our date is not a Christian, then his or her associates will probably have a poor influence on us as well.

It is human nature to want to be accepted as part of a group.  We gain acceptance by doing what the group is doing.  However, Exodus 23:2 warns us, we are not to do something just because “the group” is doing it.  We must go to the Bible, the standard of right and wrong, to determine whether or not the activity of the group is acceptable to almighty God.  If the activity is not acceptable, then we should not associate with those  who do (Eph 5:11; 1 Thes 5:22).  The right choice is made harder when our date is part of the group encouraging us to do wrong.  If the person we choose to date is a faithful, active, member of the Lord’s body, the strain on us to do something wrong is greatly lessened.

In the fight to remain spiritually pure, we need our closest friends to be those who will help us remain faithful to the pattern set forth by God.

The church is losing her young at an alarming rate.  One of the reasons is because they are dating those who are not members of the church.  In 1 Kings 11:8, we find Solomon burning incense to the gods of his strange (those not Israelites) wives.  Verse 9 shows us that because Solomon’s heart was turned, God was angry.  The man who built the temple of God, was turned away from God by his wives.  You might say, “I am not married, and I have no plan to be any time soon.”  When is the last time you heard of two people getting married without first dating?  If you date those who are not Christians, then you are flirting with danger, the greatest danger of all (Mk 8:36; Lk 9:25).

In conclusion, we will deal with an objection given by those who would date non-Christians.  They always say, “I can change them.”  For those of you who have converted your date, my hat is off to you.  You gave the proper example on and off your dates and in so doing, showed your date the way to salvation.  However, the truth is, if one person is changed it is usually the member of the body of Christ.  As we noted in the previous paragraph, we cannot play with fire.  If nothing else, we should date Christians because we like to be in the company of those of like precious faith.

No person is worth losing your soul over.  Therefore, the relationships we have should not tax our spiritual welfare; rather they should be encouraging and edifying.  If you are currently dating those who are not members of the church, then please carefully consider the danger.  Another could be much better suited to help you in your spiritual growth.

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Perspectives of Jesus

SOURCE: Gospel Advocate, January 19, 1984.

Four Perspectives of Jesus

by David Paul Smith

The first four books of the New Testament are commonly known as “the four gospels.”  Each of them set forth the record and the meaning of the life of Jesus Christ.  Though their purpose is common in that respect, each of them has a unique perspective of Jesus.  We might say that each writer portrays Jesus in a different light of emphasis.

Matthew emphasizes the “position” of Jesus.  He alone records the claim that Jesus made, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).  As if Matthew wants to emphasize this point, he makes certain that this is one of the last points he mentions.  Yet, this point was emphasized throughout the book.  Near the beginning, we find some asking, “Where is he who has been born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2).  Throughout the inspired book, we find reference to “the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew portrays Jesus as the King that has come to establish his kingdom (cf., Matthew 16:18-19).

Mark underlines the “power” of Jesus.  Merrill C. Tenny wrote, “Mark gives more space to the miracles than any other Gospel; for it records eighteen out of a possible total of thirty-five” [New Testament Survey, Merrill C. Tenny, Eerdmans, 1961, page 164].  He has power over disease (Mark 1:40-45), demons (Mark 5:1-20), and death (Mark 5:35-43).  His power is not without purpose though, “the son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).  Just as the miracles his apostles performed in his name confirmed the message they proclaimed (Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:2-4), the miracles Jesus himself performed attested to his claims (cf., Mark 2:1-10).

Luke draws attention to the “purpose” of Jesus.  Luke records Christ’s own words concerning his purpose, “for the son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:9).  This is only reasonable since Luke’s work is continued in the book of Acts, the book above all that sets forth clearly the gospel plan of salvation.  The position and power of Jesus makes this wonderful purpose possible.  Isn’t it likely that on many an occasion Luke the physician (Colossians 4:14) marveled at the “surgical ability” of Jesus that could remove a man’s sin?

The last of the four, John, boldly sets forth the “person” of Jesus.  Most of all, we see Jesus held up as God’s son.  John himself declared that this was his purpose in writing, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).  However, in this same book, we see Jesus as a man.  He was “the word” that “became flesh” (John 1:14).  As a man, he knew what it meant to be tired (John 4:6), sad (John 11:35) or thirsty (John 19:28).  Jesus, though in every way like us in nature, was also an incarnation of God in the flesh.

The first four books of the New Testament declare the position, power, purpose, and person of Jesus Christ.  It is now up to us to allow Jesus to hold the supreme position in our life.  Let us rest confident in his power to save us, his great purpose.  Since he is God’s son, we know that he can and that he knows our needs, and those first hand.  Praise God for th epositioni, power, purpose, and person of Jesus Christ.

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STUFF


MY SOURCE: The Reminder for January 20, 2008

REGARD NOT YOUR STUFF

Tom Wacaster

It is not uncommon for a single verse to contain a little nugget of truth that astounds and challenges even the most experienced Bible students.  Today while reading again the wonderful story of Joseph, I came across the statement Joseph made to his brethren: “regard not your stuff.”

“Stuff” is our English word for material possessions.  All of us have our “stuff,” much of which sits on the shelf collecting dust, or is stored away in some box in the attic where spiders and moths destroy their once-intrinsic value.  Historians might look back on this generation and declare it the age of the “storage shed.” The past 50 years has seen a dramatic increase in the personal possessions of the average American.  In the 1950’s, the average family lived in a 900 square foot house, with a single bathroom, two bedrooms, a small but adequate living area for family entertainment, and a single car garage for the one and only automobile that the family owned.  With each passing decade the standard of living has increased.  Today the average house contains 2500 square feet of living space, four bedrooms, two and half baths, a den (or family room), a living room, and a two-car garage.  In the 1950’s, those seldom-used items were stored in the attic.  In the 1970’s our possessions increased, and along with it the need for more space.  So we backed our cars out of the garage and filled up the garage with our “stuff.” The 1980’s introduced us to the “storage shed” at some remote area – and for a modest monthly fee we could store all that unwanted “stuff” that cluttered up our attics and garages.  Now we have attics, garages, and storage sheds full of “stuff.”

I am sure that Jacob had his “stuff.” After all, with so many wives, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, he simply could not avoid collecting “stuff.” Now Joseph invites his father to leave that “stuff” behind and come to Egypt.  In faith this great patriarch saw in life’s disappointments and setbacks the hand of God moving to save the lives of his father and brothers.  As he revealed himself to his brethren he invites them to go get their father and bring him and his family to Egypt.  “Take ye wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.  Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours” (Genesis 45:20). 

God abides in His heavenly home.  He wants us to join Him.  He invites, pleads, and has sent the “wagons” (His Son, the gospel, etc.) to safely carry us to that heavenly home.  But in order to receive that wonderful inheritance, we must maintain a healthy attitude toward our “stuff.” Our Lord encourages us with these words: “Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.  Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment?  Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are not ye of much more value then they?  And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life?  And why are ye anxious concerning raiment?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat?  or, What shall we drink?  or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:25-34).

Jesus’ message to us is the same as that of Joseph to his brethren: “regard not your stuff.” Some years ago I came across the following rather humorous but pointed anecdote:

“Stuff”
[Each] spring I start stirring in my stuff.  There is closet stuff, drawer stuff, attic stuff, and basement stuff.  I separate the good stuff from the bad stuff, then I stuff the good stuff back in drawers and closets, attic and basement; then I stuff the bad stuff anywhere the stuff is not too crowded until I decide if I will need the bad stuff.  when the Lord calls me home, my children will both want the good stuff; but the bad stuff, stuffed wherever there is room among the other stuff, will be stuffed in bags and taken to the dump where all the other people’s stuff has been taken.

Whenever we have company, they always bring bags and bags of stuff and we have to move all of our stuff that’s stuffed in every nook and cranny that’s full of our stuff so they can hang and stuff their stuff.  When I visit my son, he always moves his stuff so I will have room for my stuff.  My daughter-in-law always clears a drawer of her stuff so I have room for my stuff.  Their stuff and my stuff – it would be so much easier to use their stuff and leave my stuff at home with the rest of my stuff.  This spring I had an extra closet built so I could have a place for all the stuff too good to throw away and too bad to keep with my good stuff.  You may not have this problem, but I seem to spend a lot of time with stuff – food stuff, cleaning stuff, medicine stuff, clothes stuff, and outside stuff.  Whatever would life be like if we didn’t have all the stuff?

Whenever we travel, we bring all our good stuff.  We mix all the stuff we brought together, then when we get ready to go home, all our stuff is scattered and mixed with everyone else’s stuff, and someone has lost some stuff.  Finally, all our stuff is stuffed in the car, and we go home and unload all our stuff and start washing and arranging all the stuff with the stuff we left at home.  Now, there is all that stuff we use to make us smell better than we do.  There is the stuff to make our hair look good, the stuff to cover a bad complexion, stuff to make us look younger and stuff to make us look healthier, stuff to hold us in, and stuff to fill us out.  There is stuff to read, stuff to play with, stuff to entertain us, and stuff to eat – we stuff ourselves with all the good food stuff.

Well, our lives are filled with stuff – good stuff, bad stuff, little stuff, big stuff, useful stuff, junky stuff, and everyone’s stuff.  Now, whenever we leave all our stuff and go to heaven, whatever happens to our stuff won’t matter.  We will have all the good stuff God has prepared for us.  [“Tom’s Pen”; 11/28/07; www.churchsoftwareplus.com]

DRL Note:  As I read this article, I had a strong personal reaction to it in that I have only just moved MY STUFF 500 miles.  Some of my good Kentucky friends came and helped me (before we loaded the first item into the truck to be moved) to transport an entire truckload of MY STUFF to the dump.  That was quite a task and just about wore us all out before starting to load the truck for the trip to Dublin, GA.  As we progressed in loading the truck with MY STUFF, we came to recognize that, though we would get most of the stuff in the house on the 26′ Penske truck, my 103 boxes of books could not in any way fit into this load.  We would have to take this truck down and come back to load a smaller one for a second trip.  It somewhat shames me to realize how much stuff I have accumulated.  Though most of it is of little relative value, we moved a whole of lot of it.  We do need to keep the PILGRIM concept of 1 Peter 2:11 and not get too enthralled with this STUFF which one day will all be burned up (2 Peter 3:9-11).

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