Purity is about you

By Johnny O. Trail — As the temperature rises the hem lines go up and the neck lines tend to plunge.  While this is sometimes seen as a problem that is reflective in women’s fashion, it can also be a problem among men.  In addition to the cut of the hems and the depth of the neck lines, the messages written on shirts and pants can be immoral in nature.

One of my earliest memories involved a trip to Nashville to visit an uncle who was dying of cancer in the Veteran’s Hospital.  Since we were from Manchester, it was really easy for us to become lost as we navigated the large and confusing town of Nashville.  Somehow or another, we ended up on lower Broad Street.  In that day, prostitution was a problem in that area.  There, on a street corner, were two women who were dressed rather strangely.  From the back seat of our Chevrolet Impala I asked my parents, “Why are those women dressed that way?” Continue reading “Purity is about you”

One less day

By Johnny O. Trail — Drives returning home after Wednesday evening services are typically uneventful. Last Wednesday was vastly different than what I typically experience on my commute from mid-week Bible study. The tragic experience I came upon made me ponder a few things of spiritual importance.

As I was topping a hill on the way home, I saw a motorcycle laying in the ditch. Just a bit further down the road, there was a white car that had wrapped itself around a tree. Since my eldest son typically drives himself and his brothers to and from church in his car, my concerns were immediately raised. He too, drives a white vehicle. Continue reading “One less day”

Us and them

By Brett Christensen — The only reason you and I are in Christ’s church is because we have heard the pure message of salvation as taught in scripture, and have believed it with enough conviction to obey it and continue in it. That’s not true of anyone outside the Lord’s church, whether they’re in some humanly established alternative church or even irreligious.

It’s good news that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the tragic corollary is that those not in Christ are not new creatures. We in Christ have an unassailable hope; those apart from Christ are living without hope. If God means what he says, then we cannot deny these truths. So the unpleasant reality about any person or group which has not followed God’s instructions on how to get into Christ is that they’re without God, without hope in this world, not having the forgiveness of sin which is available in Christ. Continue reading “Us and them”

I wish more people were dull

By Johnny O. Trail — As I drove to my office on Wednesday, I was listening to XM Satellite Radio. I seem to continually scroll through stations until I find the song I want to hear. Oftentimes I land on country music stations and listen to a great variety of artists. On this day, the disc jockey was talking about an artist who is now deceased.

I had heard of this country music performer via a compilation of people in the performance industries who were listed as being members of the churches of Christ. In addition to this performer being on the list that was provided on social media, he was singled out by many who knew him as being an excellent example of Christian living and service. Continue reading “I wish more people were dull”

He was not mentioned but he was there

By Johnny O. Trail — Esther is a small book found in the Old Testament that many have read throughout the millennia. It is interesting to note that the word for “God” is not found in this ten-chapter book. While God is not mentioned in the book of Esther, one finds him providentially working in the lives of his people.

The book of Esther and the lives of the people mentioned therein illustrate some powerful biblical principles. Some of them are:

  1. Esther demonstrates how the prideful reason about themselves.
  2. God providentially works in the lives of those who are his people—in Esther’s age and ours too.
  3. Obedience is necessary to effectuate the salvation of God’s people.
  4. Hatred and racism are age-old problems that all generations of people have had to face.
  5. The prideful will fail whereas the humble will find refuge and protection in God’s care.

Continue reading “He was not mentioned but he was there”

What is truth?

By Johnny O. Trail — There was once a man who decided that he wanted to lose weight. To that end, he weighed himself on his bathroom scale and determined that he weighed 250 pounds. For the entire next week, he exercised and tried to cut back on what he ate. At the end of the week, he got on the scale and determined that he weighed 260 pounds. He was so angry at what the bathroom scale told him that he took the scale into the garage, got a sledge hammer and beat it to smithereens.

The next day he determined that there had to be something wrong with the scale. So he drives to Wal-Mart and purchases a brand new one. He returned home, made sure that it was properly calibrated, and stepped on to ascertain his weight. The scale revealed that he weighed 262 pounds. It was not what he expected, but he accepted that as a good starting point for his newly renewed attempt at weight loss. For the next week he exercised and watched his food intake (to some extent). Continue reading “What is truth?”

The least of them

By John Kaniecki

“And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me” (Mathew 25:40 NET).

If one looks at this statement literally it is perhaps one of the most powerful statements in the Bible. That is, the way that you treat any human being is the way that you are treating Jesus. If Jesus came up to you and said “I’m hungry”, I am sure that you would give him all of the food that you had. But what about that drug-addicted man, dressed in rags, who is always begging by the side of the road. According to this scripture, there is no difference between the two. Continue reading “The least of them”

“It says what it means..”

by Lynette Carnahan Gray

“It says what it means, and it means what it says!”

How have you formerly felt about hearing that famous phrase?

When I was a student at Freed-Hardeman, my youngest teacher told this autobiographical event. As a neophyte professor, one Sunday “Rob” chaperoned some college students to a congregation in another town. Since Rob represented the college, when the elders asked him to teach their adult Bible class impromptu, Rob felt obliged to comply. Then they told him that their text was the book of Revelation! Continue reading ““It says what it means..””

Buried facing east

by Lynette Carnahan Gray

“My grandparents were such faithful Christians they even wanted to be buried facing east,” she said.

Hmmm. That was a concept new to me. So, I asked a friend if he’d heard of people wanting to be buried facing east. He said, “The only time I’ve made sure that I was stretched out facing east was when I got a West Texas motel room. A door facing east meant that wind didn’t drive sand in under it.” We chuckled. Continue reading “Buried facing east”

Winning is everything

by Robert Goff, Jr.

In our efforts to teach our children how to prioritize their values, we often caution, “Winning isn’t everything.” Certainly, that is a true statement in most realms of our lives.

Winning a ball game is more fun than losing, but it isn’t everything. Winning a contest at school is important to young people (and their parents), but we all must understand that some of the most important lessons in life are learned when we don’t win. Continue reading “Winning is everything”