A futuristic autobiography

By Johnny O. Trail — A few months ago, I was asked to write a biography for a notable person in the history of the church, N.B. Hardeman.  As I read about his life and wrote a brief biography, I wondered what biographies of the future might look like.

You might not realize this, but you can give another person control over you Facebook page at the time of your death.  I have made provisions for my wife to have full authority over what happens to my page at the time of my passing.  In all honesty, I would love for future generations to have access to my page for the purpose of letting them know about my religious convictions—to potentially help them in finding Christ and other truths revealed in scripture. Continue reading “A futuristic autobiography”

Let there be life

The quote appears now and again, and each time I read it I appreciate it less and less. It is sometimes attributed to Francis of Assisi, but one never sees attribution, so it’s doubtful that the Catholic figure ever wrote it. It appears in several forms, sometimes one compound sentence; at other times, as two separate sentences.

I fail to appreciate it because it sets up a conflict of sorts between words and life. It expresses an unbiblical dichotomy. Continue reading “Let there be life”

Look to Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the complete answer of God for the problem and need of mankind. Our problem is not ignorance, which education will solve. Our problem is not poverty, which more robust social programs will eradicate. Our problem is sin. It’s consequence, eternal and spiritual, is separation from God, Isaiah 5.1-2; Colossians 1.21. We cannot now imagine the despair and suffering caused by our rejection of God. No human action will repair that damage. So God sent his Son to pay the price for our sins, 1 Corinthians 6.20. Our Lord declared time and again that he came to save us from ourselves, Luke 19.10. This is the great act of grace on his part, Titus 3.4-7. Continue reading “Look to Jesus Christ”

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”

5 gifts parents can give their children

1. LOVE. Because of love parents have compassion for their children, Psalm 103.13. They know how to give good gifts to their children: “Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7.9-11. The apostle Paul speaks of a father’s love for his children. “As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his own children” 1 Thessalonians 2.11. Parents must learn to die to themselves, to extinguish their own selfishness, so that they might love their children with true love. Continue reading “5 gifts parents can give their children”

A help to many, including me

It took a truck to deliver the 10 pizzas, since the motorcycle deliverer couldn’t manage them all. So here came the owner in his vehicle. And right on time, too.

The pizzas were part of our going-away party, after church, for our son Joel, his wife Tansy, and our two grandchildren. (The fact that they’re the children of our son and daughter-in-law is incidental, understand.) They spent 11 months living down the street from us and will be returning this week to the U.S., as planned.

This was the first time we’ve had grandchildren living near us. It was a grand experience. They were able to see us in our home setting, rather than a few days visiting in their home once a year or so, and then gone again. Continue reading “A help to many, including me”

Like mother, like child

“Let’s take a look at the mother plant.”

This is a phrase often used by those of us who love to share plants and help others design and plan their gardens. An awkward, sideways sprig of Callicarpa is not a true indication of the mature plant that will anchor the garden with its wide, arching branches.

The two unevenly sized light green leaves of the baby hosta will not brighten up a shade garden like it will when it acquires the striking variegation of its parent on its spreading foliage.

A careful look at the “mother plant” will very often give a good indication of what to expect from the offspring. Continue reading “Like mother, like child”

Jesus did what was right

My wife watches me when we cut grass together. She watches closely. If I start mowing in a way she doesn’t like, she will stop her mower and make hand signals to correct me. I don’t mind. She’s only trying to help.

Jesus was at the synagogue one day and the Scribes and Pharisees were watching him closely. They weren’t watching Jesus to help him. Their motives were darker. Dr. Luke wrote they were watching to see if Jesus would heal someone on the Sabbath. They wanted to accuse him of doing something wrong (Luke 6:7). Continue reading “Jesus did what was right”

Interesting contrasts between Abraham and Lot

While the Bible is a lengthy book, God was spare in the details and provided only what we needed to know because everything had a purpose.

So often we find themes that run throughout Scripture and they provide pause for deeper contemplation. Light and darkness are common themes and we find them in the story of Abraham, Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah.  Continue reading “Interesting contrasts between Abraham and Lot”

Six things Jesus shows us

“After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, ‘Follow me'” (Luke 5:27).

While in the construction industry some years back, I sometimes found myself in a pickle. I would come across something I had never seen or done before. A few times I actually went to the library and got out a book to try to understand what I needed to do (those were not pre-Google days, they were pre-internet days!). I usually struggled with the descriptions and diagrams in the book.

But when I had someone with me, actually showing me how, I was able to grasp the concept and duplicate it fairly easily. I would not be surprised if this was the very method by which Jesus learned his trade (Mark 6:3). Continue reading “Six things Jesus shows us”