What Makes A Good Congregation?

     As most of those who read this article know, I have been the preacher for this congregation for a long time. I suppose that for this reason I find myself talking to other fellows who have long tenure with a local church. I’ve noted that our conversations sooner or later come down to a common theme: what makes a particular work good? What follows is my answer to that question.

Solving Problems

     We remember Paul’s letter to Philemon. Philemon was a fellow worker of the apostle. The first few lines of the letter demonstrate that they were close friends and that Paul held him in high esteem.

Happy Thanksgiving!

     Most of us will have celebrated Thanksgiving by the time we receive this little essay. As for me I will be contemplating the not so little problem of the four or five pounds I added on to my aged body. The plan (and it is only a plan and we all know what can happen to our plans) is to remove those additional pounds by Christmas time. Now let us all smile our knowing smiles and say together, “Fat chance.” Ha!

"Until The Moon Is No More"

     Without doubt I’d say that you have noticed the “supermoon” as it had a peak evening this week. This sort of thing is fascinating because of the science for sure, but even more so because it is substantial testimony of the truth that the physical world is the product of design. God Himself is the only logical candidate for “Designer in Chief” as He spoke this world into existence with immeasurable power and sublime perfection.

What's Next?

     We remember the beautiful line from Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Many of us can remember the substance if not the very words of the rest of that section of Scripture. And we all know it is all just as “the Preacher” says it is. But knowing this does not keep us from asking “What’s next.”

Self-Evident Truth

     As this fractious election season draws to a close it may be a good thing to think about the ideas that were the foundation of this country. We know that the convention in Philadelphia voted for independence on July 2, 1776. John Adams always thought that should be “Independence Day.” But the Second Continental Congress took action on that July 4th in what they called “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.” That document was crafted primarily by Thomas Jefferson with help from Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and others.

A Little Rest

     Everybody is busy these days. That may seem like an overstatement but I don’t know many people who do not have their days filled to the overflowing with things that have to be done, or at least, things we are convinced have to be done.

Shibboleths Then and Now

     There are a number of conflicts described in the Book of Judges one of which was between Gilead and Ephraim. Gilead was in the portion of Manasseh on the east side of the Jordan River north of Jerusalem. The leader of Gilead was Jephthah who was a “mighty man of valor” though he was the son of a harlot. He had been expelled from his home by his half brothers because they did not want to share their inheritance with him (Judges 11:1-3).

Law: For Our Good

     Moses explained the purpose for law to his people in Deuteronomy 10:12-13: “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” Simply put, the Law of Moses was for Israel’s own good.

"Have A Good One"

     I haven’t lived everywhere but in the places I have lived I have noticed little catch phrases unique to that location. We had not been here long (though this was a long time ago!) when I noticed that when leaving a store the clerk would generally say, “Have a good one!” Of course we know that this is just an abbreviation of “Have good day!” with a North Alabama twist. It’s one of those good things about living around here, like the presence of Diet Sundrop.