Bill Irby's blog

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.

Defeating a Bad Habit

     Life is composed of a series of ebbs and flows. It is one change after another. The force and influence of evil is also cyclical. Things get worse and, thankfully, they get better. We are always praying for things to get better. The blessing of being in Christ is that through all the changes of life we can enjoy spiritual stability.

Fall Gospel Meeting!

    Brother Al Behel will be with us this Sunday to begin our Fall Gospel Meeting. Though it is still pretty warm, Fall does begin on the 22nd! Brother Behel has been with us before and he always does a fine job preaching the Word of God. Many of our members know Al Behel from visiting with the Greater Smokey Mountain congregation in Pigeon Forge. Al Behel is well qualified: He has preached for many years and is a successful professional counselor.

A Direct Route

     I made a quick run down to Birmingham Tuesday. The weather was good and the traffic was a mixture of light and reasonable. Interstate 65 makes a trip like that something that can be just a portion of the day’s activities. As many of you know, it has not always been that way. It wasn’t so terribly far back that to contemplate going from Athens to Birmingham and back in one day would make a person shake his head!

Are You Ready?

     “Are you ready?” Isn’t this what we ask each other when we have some place to go and a particular time to get there? I really don’t want to get into the “husband versus wife” discussion on this subject but I feel safe in saying that one of those two is generally ready before the other one.

What is Your Best Price?

     Most of us go to the big box stores these days and picking up what we need off the shelf and paying whatever price is printed below the item. More and more retail outfits are trying to do business this way and so we do our research about what we will pay for something ahead of time, usually online. But it hasn’t always been this way. For all the years I was in the furniture business we knew that we could not put our lowest price on the tag because we knew folks wanted to dicker.

Driving To Mississippi

     We all know that Mississippi is right next to Alabama. It would make sense to understand that we share similar topography, people and many attitudes. But in the minds of most of the residents, Alabama and Mississippi are definitely two different things. One thing we do have in common is that both states find themselves looked down upon by many of our supposed betters in the rest of the country. But folks do still keep moving here, don’t they?

How Does Baptism Work?

     Baptism is important. If it was insignificant or a mere adjunct to salvation we would not find it mentioned as it is by Paul, Peter and the Lord Himself. Most folks reading this article know the passages in the New Testament that reference baptism, among which are Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, and 1 Peter 3:21. From the very beginning of my exposure to the New Testament, the passage that has helped me most has been Romans 6. I think this is the case because this passage helped me understand how baptism works.