Soon after we moved to Athens I asked someone what we could do about all the sneezing and burning eyes we were experiencing. I remember the advice being along the lines of “move to Arizona.” It does seem that our lovely Tennessee River Valley is a good place if you don’t mind sneezing, coughing and such like.

The Love of Change

     I ran across a new word this week: “neoterist.” It has in it the word “neo” which means new. A neoterist then is someone who is always seeking something new or is unusually attracted to what he or she perceives as new. I am reminded just here of the first chapter of Ecclesiastes which reliably informs us that there is nothing new under the sun.

The Internet is Down!

     Have you thought lately how accustomed we have become to being able to access information, do our work and contact each other by using the internet? People risk dismissal these days if they try to go to college without the use of a computer. Many jobs require the ability to run up and down the net in addition to a specific skill set for the job. Personal communication by email had long since outstripped letter writing (we disdain it by calling it “snail-mail”). The Web is of great importance to us, becoming an integral part of our lives.

What is Our Cross?

     We remember that Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23 NKJV). Just before saying these words Jesus had predicted His death (Luke 9:21-22). So it is just after mentioning death, which we know was on the Cross, that He states that each person endeavoring to follow Him must take up his cross and follow Him.

The Gospel of Rejoicing

     This weekend we will be having a Gospel Meeting with Joe Williams from the Mountain Island Church of Christ in Charlotte, North Carolina. We have published his lesson topics in this bulletin. We call our events like this “gospel” meetings because that is precisely what is preached during them: the gospel. It makes me happy and full of joy down deep inside to know this for these reasons:

Gospel Meeting Coming Up!

     Our Gospel Meeting is just around the corner, February 20-22, which is a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. As has been our practice lately, on Sunday we will meet at the regular times in the morning, have lunch together and have our “evening” service at 1:30. Our speaker this year is Joe Williams. Brother Williams was with the Pulaski Street congregation in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee when he was last with us. He has now relocated to the Charlotte, North Carolina area where he preaches for the Mountain Island Church of Christ.

Who Say The People That I Am?

     “Whom say the people that I am?” This is the question that Jesus posed to his disciples in Luke 9:18. He had recently sent them out “…to preach the kingdom of God and heal the sick” (Luke 9:2). They had done so, following His instructions to not be overburdened (“do not have two tunics apiece”) and to cover as much ground as possible (“whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them”).

"They Will KNow"

     There is no more fascinating book in the Bible than Ezekiel. The prophet was among the captives by the River Chebar in Babylon. While Jeremiah was preaching back down in Judah, Ezekiel was given the task to speak to God’s people while they were in the midst of their captivity. Ezekiel’s preaching made use of the magnificent visions God had given him as well as object lessons designed to communicate the unwelcome message the prophet had for the people.

Life as a Circle and a Line

     There was a brief period back in the sixties that James Taylor calls the “great folk music scare” when that sort of thing enjoyed some popularity. Folks in my age group will remember those songs and times. One of the artists that came though and had a lasting career is Joni Mitchell; I still enjoy her work and think her songs are an effective and rather beautiful picturing of those times and sensibilities.

The Cycle of Faith

     The history of man can be seen as a series of cycles. History does not repeat itself but patterns of human behavior do. Mankind’s relationship with God is also cyclical: faithfulness followed by unfaithfulness and back again. The children of Israel are a prime example of this: consider Hebrews 3:8-19. Later cycles include the apostasies that required captivity and dispersal of Israel by Assyria and the captivity of Judah in Babylon. The captivity of Judah was forestalled by two periods of reform, one under Hezekiah and the last under Josiah.