Bill Irby's blog

The Purpose of a Present

     Though we do not consider Christmas to be a religious observance we do enjoy many of the traditions that have developed around this time of year. The kids get excited about Santa Claus and what might be left under the tree. I had not been preaching very long when I heard Guy N. Woods. He preached brief lessons but always had a question and answer period at the end of the service.

Have a Great Holiday

     Ginger and I love this time of year even though sometimes it seems like the “getting ready” takes forever and the family time together just flies by! I’m pretty sure that Jesus was born sometime in April but I’m glad folks are at least thinking about Him this time of year. My prayer is that when people look up the account of His birth in the gospels they will keep right on reading their Bibles past the Christmas season.

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).