The Value of Constancy At Home

     A theme appears in autobiographies of successful people: someone provided a sense of constancy for them while they were young. We know that this is the parents’ job but often things happen that keep the nuclear family from staying together. Most of the time the disruption is because one or both of the parents simply does not want to stay with the family. When this happens the children pay the price for these parental decisions. In the cases I have in mind someone provided the necessary constancy, perhaps a single parent, the grandparents or other family members.

The Plague of the Unformed Person

     When we see or read the word “plague” we think of the diseases that devastated Europe from the 6th to the 19th centuries. People who study such things estimate that the element of the plague known as the “Black Death” may have reduced the world’s population by as many as 100 million people. We pray that such a thing never happens again. But the one thing we know about the future is that we do not know it.

May I Speak To You?

     After Paul was arrested in the Temple (Acts 21) he sought an opportunity to speak to the mob that was set on killing him there and then. He had been saved from certain death by the commander of the Roman garrison stationed near the Temple and it was to him that Paul directed his first request, “May I speak to you?” After Paul explained to the commander that he was a Roman citizen he then made his second request: to speak to those who would’ve done him fatal harm.

But As For You

     Paul did not take it easy on the young men who served with him in the early days of the church. We know a little more about Timothy than we do Titus because of the references to Timothy in Acts and the fact that we have two letters to him from Paul. As for Titus there are eight verses in 2 Corinthians that mention him as well as Galatians 2:3 and 2 Timothy 4:10. Of course we have the letter to Titus which fits in the general context with 1 Timothy. 2 Timothy was written near the close of Paul’s life (4:6-8).

Spiritual Inventory

     Before I became a Christian and began working as a preacher I worked in two commercial activities: pharmacies and furniture stores. Both were retail operations and their success was based on customer satisfaction: people could always go somewhere else. My employers could usually tell how things were going based on their experience and how busy we were. But I learned that we really did not know how well we had done in a year until we did an inventory. This was a tedious task that had to be done in a narrow time frame.

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!