Bill Irby's blog

Guyana Summer 2017

     Our Guyana Summer 2017 VBS and Gospel Meeting “finish” (as they say down there) with the safe arrival of our fine group Saturday night at the Huntsville Airport. Working on the campaign this year were Perry and Gina Martin along with their children Laura and Jacob, Brian Williams, Andrew and Ashley Sims along with Andrew’s mother Suzanne, John Colgan (known there as the “scientist”), and our only new person this year, Hollie Guthrie. We appreciate these folks using their time, energy and resources to make this year’s trip such a success. They did great!

No Longer Slaves

     Slavery has a long and varied history. There have been many kinds of slavery, most of it initiated by one group of people conquering another. Some slaves were highly valued for intelligence and ample skill sets. Others were viewed merely as a source of labor. The one thing most people agree about is that it is better to be a free person than a slave.

Still A Delivery Boy

     Ginger and I spent most of Monday hanging out together as on that day we celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary. As is the case on days like that we reminisced about a number of things, one of which was our decision for me to go back to school and study the Bible with the goal of perhaps preaching one day. And, as you know, we did that. It was an exciting and sometimes stressful time. Money was tight but we worked all the time and the Lord took mighty good care of us.

Why Jeremiah Didn't Quit

     Jeremiah was not treated well by many of his hearers. His message was very unpopular because it was not what the people in his audience wanted to hear. He found himself being slapped around and worse than that from time to time. People like to hear what they want to hear. People like to be told that everything is just fine the way it is. People like to be told that whatever they are doing is just exactly what they ought to be doing. And it’s not just anonymous “people” who like these things, specific people, like to hear what they want to hear.

Implications of Liberty

     As I’ve said before, I haven’t been everywhere, but based on what I’ve seen thus far I prefer living in the United States of America. Our nation is far from perfect but it has some things about it that one just doesn’t find anywhere else. One of those things is a special kind of liberty. Liberty is not exactly the same thing as freedom but the two concepts are closely related.

Faith and Autonomy

     The dictionary says that autonomy is “freedom from external control or influence.” The word is also defined as independence. We hear the word used in a variety of ways. We are hearing more these days about autonomy in connection with the operation of automobiles. As someone who drives quite a bit more than average and enjoys being under the wheel, the idea of an autonomous car is both intriguing and a little bit scary.

The Fruit of Hospitality

     Bible students know about Elisha the prophet. He became what we might call the chief prophet after Elijah was taken up from the earth by a whirlwind (2 Kings 2). The sons of the prophets (likely preacher students) concluded that the “spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha” (2 Kings 2:15). Elisha had many adventures as God’s man and accomplished many remarkable things by the power of God up to and even a bit after his death (2 Kings 13:21). Indeed, the period in which Elijah and Elisha worked is one of the few times in history when God chose to work supernaturally.

What's It Worth?

     Shopping and buying things is a big part of our economic culture. I’ve read on numerous occasions that we have a “consumer economy” which I think means that our economic progress as a nation is tied to people earning a living and then spending a good portion of it on doing stuff and acquiring things. I took economics in college back in the fading reaches of time and can honestly say I remember very little of that course.

Home Sweet Home

     By the time you read this our 2017 VBS will be wrapped up and put to bed. I’m sure that it will have been a great week. I know that a tremendous amount of work was done to make it successful and a blessing to the children (and adults) that came. Our folks always do a great job!


     Most of us spend the greater part of our lives working in order to “make a living.” Economic systems are built around some form of the concept of people exchanging their time and talents for compensation. Thus Romans 6:23 is completely understandable: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”