I recently returned to my hometown of Pine Bluff, Ark., which is about 45 minutes south of Little Rock, Ark., and has a population of more than 55,000 people. I spent a whole week enjoying the old neighborhood, relaxing with family and gazing in amazement at how things have changed.
I am not a huge fan of the computer. Oh, I am well aware that they have made our lives better in many ways. I am grateful for the ways they make my life easier. I can send pictures to my dad at no cost. I can order stuff online. I can correct spelling and grammar mistakes easily and quickly.
This week a lot of people were glued to the TV screen or the internet or were listening to the radio awaiting the verdict of the Casey Anthony trial.
Some recent court cases have been decided in a way that many people thought was wrong. Right or wrong, I could not say because I do not have all the facts. Without all the facts, it is impossible to come to the right conclusion.
For Americans, the Fourth of July is a time to look back - and look up. On Independence Day, we take a break from our busy schedules to appreciate the blessings of freedom and liberty - the noble values upon which our nation was built. We look back with gratitude at our founding fathers' vision. We appreciate the courage of those who have protected our freedoms.
When God uses ordinary people beyond what is usual, ordinary or regular, He establishes the extraordinary. People do not usually think they are noteworthy, remarkable or exceptional in character. Outside of occasionally having a special, often temporary, task or responsibility, we may not address the possibility of being extraordinary. But there are "gifted" people among us. We celebrate their accomplishments with enthusiasm and amazement. What we may not consider is that God depends on ordinary people. The Bible shows us that ordinary people are chosen by God for phenomenal and special service.
When I was 16 years old, I had my dad drop me off at a lake to go fishing on his way to a church board meeting. This 30-acre private lake sat about a half of a mile off the road.
I have to admit that I love to sing. I sing along with the radio in the car. I sing in the shower. I sing as I work. (I'm not a good whistler, so I can't follow the advice of the Seven Dwarfs).
God made man a free moral agent: "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).
In the book of Psalms we are told that God has a purpose for each one of us.
In the preceding weeks, we have talked about pleasing God. Last week, we saw that if we really want to please God, we must understand that Christ is a part of God's plan and must be followed. As we think more about that, there are a few more things we need to know about Christ.
I have a friend who is an author. Mark has published multiple books in the past decade. He served as a pastor for 15 years but has spent the past 10 years writing and submitting manuscripts.
Last week we looked at the question, "Who are you trying to please?" The thought was that in spiritual matters, we must study and obey his word if we are trying to please God.
Tomorrow is Father's Day, which reminds me of baseball player-turned-evangelist Billy Sunday, who once said, "Give a child a good mother and any old stick will do for a father."
Several years ago I ran across a little gospel tract titled, "God's simple plan of salvation." It gave the simple truth that God loves his creation, and he made a way so mankind could get forgiveness for its sins and receive everlasting life.
They are having snow up north.
Most religious people believe that God loves everyone and wants all to be saved. Yet some fail to understand that he created man to have his own will so he can determine what to do or not do.
In our recent election between the Democrats and Republicans, the Republicans seized control over the Senate by winning an additional seven seats.
When I was growing up in the church, we used to quite often sing a song called, "Count Your Blessings." It goes something like this: "Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done."
I have a new computer. It is a laptop and literally is the size of the leather binder I carry in my book satchel. It is only a pound or so in weight.
When Elijah the prophet called for Ahab to gather all Israel to Mount Carmel, he started his address with the following words: "How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him. But if Baal, then follow him" (1 Kings 18:21).
We live in a world that is fueled by agendas. Man, by nature, tends to look out for himself. Occasionally, (it is one of the rarest occurrences) you come across a person who's only true agenda is the success and betterment of those to whom he or she is related. There is a person who is never quite understood. There is a person who is often rejected on the basis of trust. A pure heart often leads the bearer to be alone, even among thousands.
It just amazes me how the stock market operates. It changes at the drop of a hat. Investors react both positively and negatively when a particular news story breaks.
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