The Debt I Own My Fellow Christians

The concept of debt is familiar to Bible readers. Paul said, "I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also" (Romans 1:14-15). A debt is an obligation, a duty, or what is owed. Paul felt a responsibility to preach the saving gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16) because he had been saved by it himself.

The Church and Cultural Force

Resisting Cultural Force

A Quick Trip To Guyana

Two of our elders, Ray Hill and Randy Blacklidge, and I left Athens for Guyana on Monday, June 5. Our trip down was smooth with very little in the way of delay. We arrived at the Cheddi Jagan airport at Timehri, Guyana just a little ahead of schedule. Though we were just about the last people to go through customs, even that went off without a hitch. As we moved through the baggage area out to the location of our transportation, the first person we saw was Hari Persaud. Hari is a new dad and a fine gospel preacher.

Freedom, Memory and God

As we know, the last Monday in May is Memorial Day in the United States. We remember, as indeed we should, the sacrifices of the men and women who have served this country. Many have died to provide our freedom and to enable our way of life. My wife's father served in the Pacific in the Second World War. My father spent nearly four years in Europe working through North Africa, Italy and Germany. All of us have family members and friends who have spent hard months and years in these places as well as Korea, Vietnam, Eastern Europe, the Persian Gulf, Iraq and other locations around the world.

Graduation...What's Next?

By the time you read this, our young folks will have made that short walk to pick up their diplomas. Congratulations to Athens High School graduates Martin Ezell, Leigh Ellen Hobbs, Clay Johnson, Beth Knowles, Brandt Latimer, Allison Murphy, Whitney Stroud, and Elkmont High School graduate Caryn Pressnell. These fine young folks have one of life's milestones behind them now.

The Loss of All Things

In the third chapter of his letter to the Philippians Paul discusses the subject of "confidence in the flesh." To have confidence in the flesh is to rely on one's birth, station in life, education and accomplishments. If anyone could be justified in doing this, it would be Paul (Philippians 3:3-8). He was from a "right" family and was well educated. The expression "a Hebrew of the Hebrews" is indicative of the ability to speak Hebrew, a rarity in the first century, even in the land of the Jews. He worked hard as a Pharisee and was a diligent persecutor of the church. He said, I believe sardonically, that he was blameless touching the righteousness which is in the law. He had been operating as henchman for the high priest (Acts 9). He was ambitious. There was nothing he would not do to succeed. He even looked after the coats of the murderers of Stephen and agreed that he should die (Acts 6, 7 and 8). Paul had it all. He was the man.

They Grow Up

As most folks who read this bulletin know, our oldest boy is getting married in just a few days. Ginger and I are could not be happier. It is an exciting time and a sweet time. Will found Meagan while at college at UAH and it was a superb discovery. She is a wonderful Christian girl with a good heart. Ginger has had to deal with an "all boys" world for so long that she can't wait to get another female in the family.

On The Matter of the DaVinci Code

A few years back I read, for entertainment, a novel by Dan Brown. I thought he was a talented writer of fast moving fiction, so I read the rest of his books. His most famous effort is now to be made into a movie, The Da Vinci Code. The book and movie have generated a substantial controversy as well as what seems to me to be a sizable cottage industry devoted to revealing the errors of the book (which have had the ironic effect of selling more of his book). I have hesitated to join the fray but I find that I just can't help it. So here goes.

A Prescription for Perilous Times

As Paul wrote the second letter to his prot g Timothy he provided a warning: This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (2 Timothy 3:1). Paul meant to help Timothy even though the news he told him was not good. When the apostle spoke of the last days he spoke of the days in which he and Timothy were living. We, too, live in the last days. The "last days" are the days of the Christian dispensation (which was preceded by the Patriarchal and Mosaic periods or dispensations). When it ends, this old place will be finished (see 2 Peter 3:9ff.). Many of the problems Timothy faced in his part of the last days are still present here in out part of the last days.