Broken

broken-heart.jpgby Paula Harrington Do you know families like this? Families so entrenched in sin that the consequences will appear for many years. If you don’t know them personally, you’ve probably seen them on television or read about them in the newspaper. Torn apart by sin, these families struggle day to day in worldly chaos. We know them and may even be them. Continue reading Broken

Left Behind

by Michael Galloway
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My generation, the current generation, is being left behind. I am not referring to technology, but to something much more important — spirituality.

Amid all of the technology my generation has grown up with, and has used to get ahead, it amazes me that my generation has gotten left behind. Facebook, MySpace, DVDs, Computers, Reality TV, IPods, and the many other secular things that are associated with my generation, are items which when used right can be used to much good. However, the amazing things of my generation are continually being corrupted and directed towards destruction.

How many times do you hear of a young girl being connected to sexual predators, because of MySpace, and raped and killed?

How many times do you see sexually immoral things coming on the television screen? “Desperate Housewives,” anyone?

How many times do you walk down a street and hear obscenities blaring from the earphones connected to an IPod?

How many teens in youth groups are corrupted by pornography?

Let me invite you to do a random poll. It might surprise you. How many teens have viewed pornography on the computer, and then became a part of the 50% of American teenagers who have engaged in sex? /1

How many Facebook pages are corrupted with curse words, dirty quotes and jokes?

How many Facebook pages are filled with immodest pictures of my generation?

Wake up, America! These things have become common occurrences today.

Wake up, kids! Wake up parents! Your kids are getting “left behind.”

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2 ESV).

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1/ Statistic comes from Washington Post article: “A Debunking on
Teenagers and ‘Technical Virginity'”

Michael is a Bible and Communication major at Freed-Hardeman University. He plans to preach upon graduation. Originally from the Gloster St., congregation in Tupelo, Miss., Michael is working as an intern with the Washington Ave. church in Evansville, Ind.

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I Come to Communion

by Robert L. Jenks
I come to communion not because I am worthy, not for any righteousness of my own, for I have grievously sinned and fallen short of what by God’s help I might have been.
I come not because there is any magic in partaking of the symbols of Christ’s body and blood.
I come not from a sense of duty that is unacquainted with deep appreciation for his blessed means of grace, the highest privilege in Christian worship.
I come because Christ bids me come. It is his table, and he extends the invitation.
I come because it is a memorial to Him: as oft as it is done in remembrance of him. Here is a vivid portrayal of the redeeming sacrifice of the Christ of Calvary. His matchless life, his vicarious sufferings and his faithfulness even unto death are brought to mind, and I bow humbly before him in worship.
I come because in contemplation of the Father and his Son, our Savior, I am moved to thanksgiving for so great salvation.
I come because in this encounter with the Savior I am made to feel the wrongness of my sins — the base desire, unchristian motives, hurtful attitudes, vain ambition, and the things I have done which I ought not to have done, and the things I have failed to do which God expected me to do. I acknowledge my utter unworthiness and walk again the painful but necessary path of repentance.
I come because forgiveness is an inseparable part of true repentance. I arise with the assurance of pardon, rejoicing in the opportunity of a new beginning.
I come because I arise from the Lord’s table with new strength, new courage, new poise and new power to face the demands which life will lay upon me.
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Published in the bulletin of the Baker Heights church, Abilene Tex.

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Repairs Can Be Made

by Luke Bower
The last week I finally had the time, money, and help (from my dad) to get our Jeep running again.
The initial problem was only a broken fuel pump, but since I let it sit so long, the Jeep now had a couple of dried-out gaskets, a dead battery, and a rat had chewed through the wires of the engine.
The repair ended up costing more time and money than if I had taken care of it months ago.
It is not any different with us in our Christian lives.
I do not know how many people tell me, “I’ll come back to church eventually,” or “I am just taking a break from this whole Christian thing.”
Well, apparently, they misunderstand what it means to be a Christian or part of the church. How can you take a break from who you are?
Just like my car, the longer you sit out the more pain and problems you will build up and the more difficult it will be when and if you ever decide to return to who God wants you to be.
None of us are granted tomorrow, and we can’t afford to wait.
It may take some time, some hard work — and it will definitely mean spending some time with your Father — but all repairs can be made.
“Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4 ESV).
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Luke works with the youth at the Baker Heights congregation in Abilene, Tex.

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WE'RE GOING TO HEAVEN!

by Tony Raburn
While the family and I were in Dallas visiting family, I took my children to Six Flags. It’s an amusement park, like Elitch Gardens. And I remember the anticipation my children had just thinking about how much fun it was going to be. We went and had a great day at the park. So much so, that we bought season passes so they could go to Six Flags for free every time we went to Dallas for the rest of this year.
Seeing their smiles also made me think of the time, about two years ago, when we took the kids to Disney World. They were excited while we made plans (and while I was planning to pay for it). There was even more anticipation then, and they smiled each time we talked about it. It was like that commercial where the brother and the sister are looking out their window trying to imagine what it was going to be like. They were going to the “happiest place on Earth”! Their mother came in and told them they needed to go to sleep and they said, “We’re too excited to sleep!”
As a father, I want to let my kids experience that kind of joy often. But, truth is, I can’t afford to. The cost of admission to the park is roughly a house payment. And Colorado it not exactly close to Florida, so there is the cost of travel. So we don’t go very often. But I love seeing those smiling faces on my children — to see all of that joy.
When was the last time you felt like that? It seems that we know how to experience that kind of joy when we are young, but we forget to bring it with us as we grow up. And we spend the rest of our lives looking for it. We WANT to experience that kind of anticipation and joy again.
But to get lost in our schoolwork. We get lost in our jobs. In our finances. In our relationships. Yes, we even can get lost in church issues. We get lost in our sickness. We get lost in our grief.
We’ve come to a point in our service where we are going to take the Lord’s Supper. As a family, when we do this, we are proclaiming our belief in Jesus Christ. We are proclaiming that there was a man who came to this Earth, who lived a sinless life, and who was sacrificed for our sins. He made that sacrifice so that we can be with him for all eternity — all expenses paid.
We’re the ones who should be paying. We’re the ones who have done wrong. But he sacrificed himself, so that we can have eternal life.
Take a look around you. Look to your left, to your right. Let me see some heads turn. These are your brothers and sisters. We’re all here to do the same thing. We all believe the same way.
I am your brother, and I have a secret to tell you. Listen closely, because here it is: we’re going to heaven. Did you hear what I said?
We’re Going To Heaven.
WE’RE GOING TO HEAVEN!
If it were appropriate for me to jump up and down while saying it, I would!
Doesn’t that make you feel joy? Doesn’t that send chills up your spine? Doesn’t that make you look out the window and dream of what it is going to be like? Doesn’t that make you smile so big that your mouth can’t even reach that wide?
Brothers and sisters, our Father has GIVEN us an unlimited pass, with no expiration date, to “the greatest place – EVER”! And our brother, Jesus Christ, PAID the way for us to get there.

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Relationships: My God and I

by Tim Childs
How often do you think about your relationship with God? Have you given it much thought recently?
Do you realize Satan wants us to live each day as though there is no God? Can we become so busy with such important things that we forget his presence and our real dependence on him? Is it possible for you and me to become quite similar to those spoken of in Scripture who did not like to retain the knowledge of God in their minds?
What do you think about the current state of your relationship with God? Are you and I in the great number of those in our society who would rather not think about that? Does that make us feel a bit uncomfortable? Or do you have a healthy, thriving relationship?
If you are willing to examine and evaluate in light of Scripture, what does God think about the state of your relationship with him? Is God well-pleased?
Have you given thought to what changes God may want you to make to produce a stronger, more satisfying relationship with him? Have you thought about examining the life of Jesus to determine what it was, specifically, that enabled him to have such a close-knit, tight relationship with our heavenly Father? Do you suppose Jesus can give us insight into building a stronger, meaningful relationship with the Father in heaven?
What relationship with another/others is more significant than the relationship you and I are able to develop with our Creator, Savior, Redeemer, Friend?

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