Books for Sale

This will not be a regular occurrence, but we are trying to raise money to go to Roundhouse, an annual home-school conference for members of the church of Christ.  Below is a list of many different books that I’ve decided to part with from my personal library.  If you are interested in any of them, email at Bradley.Cobb2@verizon.net

Note: * means written by a member of the church of Christ

Commentaries:

*A Study of the Gospel According to John (James Meadows) – PB, 82 pages, includes various handouts in addition to the book. – $2.50

Exodus (Bible Book Study Commentary, Bill R. Ausha) PB, 132 pages – $2.00

*Lessons From Exodus (Gary Henson) 8 ½ x 11, spiral bound, 42 pages – $3.00

Genesis: Collegeville Bible Commentary (P. Viviano) – PB, 136 pages – $1.50

Daniel and Revelation (Experiencing the Word Commentary) – PB, 96 pages – $.50

Galatians and Ephesians (Experiencing the Word Commentary) – PB, 96 pages – $.50

The Epistle to the Romans (C.K. Burnett) HB 278 pages – $4.00

The Epistle to the Galatians (James D.G. Dunn) HB, 375 pages – $4.00

Acts, part 2 [13-28] (Bible Book Study Commentary, Edmon Rowell, Jr) PB, 131 pages – $2.50

Acts of the Apostles [Journey Through the Bible] (Justo Gonzalez) PB, 112 pages – $2.00

International Sunday School Lessons, 1966 (Frank S. Mead) HB/DJ 384 pages – $3.50

Beware the Pretenders [Jude] (John MacArthur, Jr) PB, 111 pages – $2.50

*Comments on the Revelation (W.S. Thompson) HB, 258 pages – $4.00

 

Bibles and books on Bible versions:

MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV).  Burgundy bonded leather, minimal underlining, has name “Cassandra” in gold lettering on cover.  Some edge wear – $4.00

Bible Versions: Which is the REAL Word of God? (David B Loughran) PB, 49 pages – $2.00

 

Apologetics:

The Case for Easter: evidence for the resurrection (Lee Strobel) – PB, 95 pages – $.75

The Case for Christmas: the identity of the child in the manger (Lee Strobel) – PB, 96 pages – $.75

More than a Carpenter (Josh McDowell) – PB, 128 pages – some highlighting and underlining – $.75

*Reason and Revelation – 183 issues (includes every issue from 1984-1991, 2007-2008, and many others through 2010. – $20.00 for all.

*Reason and Revelation – 30 issues (from 1993-2009) – $4.00 for all

*Evolution or Creation? (Basil Overton) PB, 68 pages – $2.00

Men of Science, Men of God: Great Scientists who Believed the Bible (Henry Morris) – PB, 107 pages – $1.25

Breaking the Ice Age Myth (Beata Smith) – PB, 170 pages – $2.00

The Battle for Truth: Defending the Christian Worldview in the Marketplace of Ideas (David Noebel) – PB 384 pgs – $2.75

Refuting Compromise: Biblical and Scientific Refutation of Progressive Creationism (Billions of Years) (Jonathan Sarfati) PB, 411 pages – $4.00

*Short Essays in Biblical Criticism (J. W. McGarvey) HB, 479 pages – $5.00

The Revised and Expanded Answer Book: 20 Most-Asked Questions About Creation, Evolution, and the Book of Genesis Answered! (Edited by Don Batten, Ken Ham and others) HB, 274 pages – $3.00

 

Books about Jesus:

The Advent of the Savior (Stephen Binz) – PB, 69 pages – $.75

Jesus Christ: Miracles (John P. Gilbert) – PB, 64 pages – $.75

Jesus Christ: Holy Week and Crucifixion (Thomas Langford) – PB, 64 pages – $.75

Parables of Jesus: Glimpses of the New Age (Neal Fisher) – PB, 147 pages (Methodist book).  Glue on spine drying, some pages loose – $.50

The Trial of Christ: a Criminal Lawyer Defends Jesus (Dee Wampler) PB, 52 pages – $1.50

 

Hermeneutics:

*Principles of Interpretation (Clinton Lockhart) HB, 260 pages – $4.00

Elements of Logic [also called “Hedge’s Rules of Logic”] (Levi Hedge) PB, 178 pages – $2.00

 

Books on Denominations and Cults:

Book of Mormon – $.25

Truth Restored: a Short History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Hinkley) – PB, 156 pages – $1.50

Facts, Frauds, and Phantasms: A Survey of the Spiritualist Movement (Georgess McHargue) HB, 150 pages – $.90.

The Trail of Blood… “A History of the Baptist Churches from Christ…to the Present Day” (1931) PB, 56 pages – $1.75

Handbook of Today’s Religions, including cults and world religions (Joshua McDowell) HB, 567 pages – $5.00

What Does the Bible REALLY Teach? (Jehovah’s Witness handbook) PB, 224 pages – $1.00

 

Dictionaries and Concordances:

Cruden’s Compact Concordance – HB, 563 pages – $2.50

Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon – HB – $4.00

The Analytical Greek Lexicon – HB – $4.00

 

church of Christ Periodicals:

*The Debater (vol 1, No. 3, Nov/Dec 1959) with part 2 of the Dew-Wilhite debate on the impossibility of apostasy.  20 pages, $1.00

*The Best of 20 Years (compilation of articles from 20th Century Christian, published on their 20th anniversary).  HB, 196 pages (cover is solid because it has been taped well, some spots on bottom of pages) – $2.00

 

Instrumental Music:

*Scripture Studies Volume IV: Three Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship Answered (S.H. Hall) HB, 160 pages – $5.00

 

Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage:

*Bales’ Position Explained and Denied (Jerry Moffitt) PB, 161 pages – $4.00

*James Bales-Roy Deaver Debate on Alien Sinners and the Covenant – HB, 496 pages – $6.00

 

Apocryphal and “Lost” books, and related material:

Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium (Bart D. Ehrman) HB/DJ, 274 pages – $5.00

Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity (Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King) HB, 198 pages – like new $2.00

 

Other church of Christ books:

*3rd Annual Shenandoah Lectureship: Embattled Christianity, A Call to Alarm the Church to Humanism (edited by Terry Hightower) – HB, 394 pages – $10.00

*Basic Bible Doctrine: Book 2 (Robert Harkrider) – PB, 64 pages (non-institutional material) – $.75 (six copies available)

Great Songs of the Church: Number 2 (Standard Publishing Songbook, 1937) – HB, 603 songs – $3.50

*Half-Year of Church Studies (Lewis Hale) PB, 28 pages – $1.00

*The New Testament Church (L.R. Wilson) PB, 74 pages – $1.50

*Conquering You Giants (Nancy Eichman) PB, 156 pages – $2.00

*Bigger Men for Better Churches [book on elders] (Cleon Lyles) HB/DJ, 118 pages – $3.50 (two copies available)

*Johnny Ramsey – Otis Hill Debate on Baptism and Apostasy – PB, 93 pages – $3.00

*1984 Firm Foundation Lectures (including Wayne Jackson, William Cline, Perry Cotham, Thomas Warren, Gary Workman, Johnny Ramsey, Garland Elkins, Dub McLish, Mac Deaver, Robert Taylor Jr, George DeHoff, and others) HB, 383 pages – $5.00

*Christ, We Do All Adore Thee [A study guide to the Gospel of John] (Fred House) PB, 89 pages – $1.50

*Life With a Purpose (J. Noel Merideth) HB, 111 pages – $2.00

*Restoration, Reformation, or Revelation? (James D. Bales) HB, 328 pages – $4.00

 

Afterlife:

The Life Beyond: An Interpretation of New Testament Teachings on Death, Resurrection, the Second Coming, and Eternal Destiny (Ray Summers) HB/DJ – 233 pages – $4.00

 

Other Religious Books:

New Testament Fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecies (Abram Kenneth Abraham) PB, 234 pages – $2.25

The Holy City [the history of Jerusalem] (Dr. James Johnson) PB, 136 pages, lots of b/w maps and photos – $4.00

As a Man Thinketh (James Allen) HB, 64 pages – $1.50

Preaching from the Prophets (Kyle Yates) HB/DJ, 225 pages – $4.00

An Outline of the Old Testament – PB, 174 pages – $2.25

A Closer Walk with God: Prayer as a Way of Life (selected writings from Spurgeon, Moody, Sunday, Torrey, and others) PB, 80 pages – $1.25

Tough and Tender: What Every Woman Wants in a Man (Joyce Landorf) PB, 157 pages – $1.00

Learning of God: Readings from Amy Carmichael – PB, 135 pages – $.75

The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life for Today (Hannah Whitall Smith) – HB/DJ, 223 pages – $.75

The Bible Promise Book (selected Scriptures on various topics) – PB, 172 pages – $.75

The Cost of Discipleship (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) – PB, 316 pages (this man was executed in Nazi Germany) – $1.50

God’s Medicine Cabinet: the Complete Healing Scripture Manual For All Ailments (Michael Fugett) – PB, 192 pages – $1.00

Eucharist (Stephen Binz) – PB, 129 pages – $.75

Life Sentence (Charles W. Colson) – HB/DJ, 306 pages – $1.00

The Greatest Story Ever Told: a Reverent and Faithful re-telling of the story of Jesus with powerful Simplicity (Fulton Oursler) – HB/DJ, 299 pages – $1.75

The Greatest Faith Ever Known: a Reverent Retelling of the Apostles in the early days of Christianity (Fulton Oursler) – HB/DJ, 383 pages – $1.75

America in the Kingdom Parables (C.O. Stadsklev) – PB, 91 pages – $.40

The Fraudulent Gospel:  Politics and the World Council of Churches (Bernard Smith) – PB, 96 pages – $.30

Writing from A to Z (writing handbook), 500 pages, pb, spiral-bound – $2.00

Why Do the Heathen Rage? (anonymous) PB, 400 pages of articles appearing in newspapers from 1962-1981 – $1.75.

Advertisements

Is It Profitable?

If you haven’t heard it already, you probably will.  Someone will surely tell you that the Bible doesn’t say anything about a certain topic.  While it may be true that it is never specifically mentioned in the Word, there are many verses that give us Godly principles that can be applied to many different topics.  With these verses, we can determine what we should and shouldn’t do; what is right and what is wrong in God’s eyes.  These verses not only apply to the so-called “grey areas” but can also be applied to more black-and-white topics.

Paul said, “All things are lawful unto me, but not all things are expedient.  All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (I Cor. 6:12) The ESV says “…not all things are helpful…” “…I will not be enslaved by anything.”

  • I Thessalonians 5:21, 22 tells us to “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good.  Abstain from all appearance of evil.
  • Matthew 12:36 says, “Every idle word that man shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment.
  • I Cor 10:31: “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
  • I Cor 3:16, 17: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
  • I Cor 8:12, 13: “But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ, wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

Paul told us that while some things may have been permissible in and of themselves, he wouldn’t do them because of the way it would look to others.  “abstain from all appearance of evil” we are told (I Thessalonians 5:22).  If it even has the appearance of being wrong, we ought to at least give serious thought before we do it!

These are interesting principles, but what can they apply to?

1. Drinking alcoholic beverages

The New Testament says “be not drunk with wine” (Eph 5:18), and it says that elders should not be “given to wine.”  Many people take that and say that it is ok to drink alcohol as long as we don’t get drunk.  First off, please get out your Bibles and read Proverbs 20:1. 

It is well-known that Paul told Timothy to “drink a little wine” for his stomach’s sake, and for his constant infirmities.  This verse—which might not even be speaking of alcohol (same Greek word for grape juice)—was a prescription given to a specific person at a specific time for a specific purpose.  Even if this is speaking of alcohol, it doesn’t permit it to be used for any and every reason!  Is it ok to use morphine and narcotics for medical pain-relieving purposes?  Of course.  Does that them make it ok to use them just for fun?  No way!

Let’s take the topic and apply the earlier mentioned Biblical principles to it.  First, if–and that’s a big IF–it is spiritually lawful, is it expedient (or helpful)?  Is it profitable (as another translation says)?  Will drinking a beer help our soul?  Paul says things may be lawful, but he will “not be brought under the power of any” (I Cor 6:12).  It’s been scientifically shown that even one drink kills brain cells.  We all know that alcohol is addictive, so can someone really drink and “not be brought under the power” of the alcohol?  Can we drink alcohol to the glory of God (I Cor 10:31)?  Remember, no matter what we do, no matter if we think it’s right or wrong, we will have to answer to God at the day of judgment!  Mark 8:36 says, “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”  Is it worth your soul for just a drink?

2. Smoking cigarettes. 

This is a topic that most people have opinions on.  This is also the topic (outside of worship matters) that most often brings forth the words, “there’s nothing in the Bible that says it is wrong!”  Smoking didn’t originate until about 1200-1300 years after the Bible was written.  It was first used by American Indians as part of their religious ceremonies.  So, obviously, Paul and the other writers had no knowledge of smoking, nor any reason to mention it.  But the principles in the Bible can help us discover if it’s ok to smoke.

Once again, we start with Paul’s statement.  If indeed it is lawful (as some will say), is it expedient?  Is it profitable?  Smoking is very addictive, and anyone who smokes is indeed “brought under the power” of smoking.  Can we smoke a cigarette to the glory of God?  Everyone, by now, is aware that smoking is very harmful to the body.  The question then presents itself: Why do people still do it?  It is possible to quit.  Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13)

We preach and teach that we are to love one another and show love one for another.  We believe we should live by Christ’s words when he said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  Second-hand smoke is responsible for approximately 3,000 deaths per year among non-smokers!  Are we showing our love for our neighbors if we smoke?

We should also look at the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30.  We’re shown that God rewards those who are good stewards of what he’s given them.  Is it being a good steward to spend the money he’s blessed us with on cigarettes?  An average pack costs $4.00 (the average smoker smokes one pack per day), which is almost $1,500 per year!  Imagine what good could be done with that money!

Conclusion:

When Paul said “not all things are profitable,” he meant it.  There are things that do nothing to help the body or the soul, and do nothing to bring others to Christ.  Paul also said he would not do something if it offended others (I Cor 8:8-13), in fact he said “While the world stands” he would not do it!

Just ask yourself this: What would you think of someone who went door-to-door with a cigarette in their mouth or a beer in their hand, trying to convert people to Christ?

Indeed, not all things are profitable, and we will give an account to God of every little thing we do.  Do all to the glory of God.  Let us apply these principles to everything we do in our lives!

(NOTE: this article was first written in 2007, and has undergone some revision since then)

Why, God?

Why, God?

Living in central Oklahoma, I know first-hand the terror that comes when you hear the word “tornado.”  People fear for their lives, and rightfully so.  On Monday, knowing that tornadoes were likely, we had our children pack up the things most important to them, and we brought them along as we went and took cover in a storm shelter.  Thankfully, the tornadoes went around and over our hometown without doing any damage to it.  Others, however, were not so fortunate.

Seeing the images on television and hearing about the death and destruction that overwhelmed Moore and Bethel Acres cannot come close to describing the hurt and loss of the people who were directly affected by it.  In the midst of the carnage, some people thanked God that they were spared.  A few days have gone by, and the question on some people’s hearts is:

Why did God allow this to happen?

I do not claim to know all the answers, but I do know that all things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8:28).  And with this thought at the forefront of my mind, I offer the following thoughts for why God allowed the tornadoes to rip through central Oklahoma this week.

1.    To wake people up to their spiritual needs.  When tornadoes hit, people begin to think more about their spiritual life.  What will happen if I die?  It is often after the death of a loved one or a brush with death that people will begin to see their mortality and hopefully look at where they are headed spiritually speaking.

2.    To wake up the church.  One of the biggest problems in the church is spiritual sleepiness.  In most congregations, it is like pulling teeth to get certain members involved.  In some congregations, the entire body is in a spiritual coma, doing nothing for the Lord except for showing up for worship.  When something like these tornadoes happen, it serves to shock the church members into looking at their own lives and realizing that they have not been living out their Christianity like they should.  Now it is high time to awake! (Romans 13:11).

3.    To give the church a chance to shine.  There was once a man who was blind from birth.  That—to me—would be horrible.  But Jesus said that man spent his entire life blind so that the works of God could be plainly seen (John 9:3).  Things that we consider bad are sometimes allowed to happen so that God’s people can show the works of God.  After the tornadoes, churches of Christ opened their doors to give victims places to stay, places to eat a hot meal, places to find clothing.  Churches of Christ from across the state have been trying to assist with the clean-up and with taking care of those who are still without homes.  The church has been given a fantastic opportunity to show what Christianity is all about.  Do good unto all (Galatians 6:10).  Let’s take full advantage of this door that God has opened for us.

4.    To give the church an opportunity to grow.  Christians who do the work of God will also grow spiritually.  They will become stronger, more caring Christians.  The tornadoes have given Christians an opportunity to grow spiritually.  But this is also an opportunity to help the church grow in number.  When people see that you truly care, they will be more open to listening to the gospel.  There are hundreds of people who are hurting, who are feeling their mortality, and who may be seriously considering the question of Where would I go if I died?  Now is the time to show them you care for their physical needs, but also their spiritual needs.  People may be more open to the gospel of Jesus Christ now than at any other time in their entire lives.  Let us work to save them while we have the chance!

Lord, let us learn to use the opportunities that we have to do good unto all men—both physically and spiritually—so that we can bring glory to you.

Peconceived Notions

There are many times in life when mistakes are made because one has preconceived notions that prove to be false.  People bring their own biases to the Bible when they read and study it.  Perhaps they view it through the lens of Calvinism, Pentecostalism, or even atheism.  Whatever it is, these people have preconceived biases or notions.

 The same thing was true in biblical times.  Throughout the Gospel accounts and Acts it can be seen that people had preconceived ideas of what the Messiah would be.  Therefore, they read all the prophecies with that lens, expecting the prophecies to back up their biases. 

 That the Israelites expected an earthly king is obvious.  Jesus refuted the idea by stating to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world…” (John 18:36).  It was not just the common Jews or even the overly strict Pharisees that thought this.  This view even permeated into Christ’s own chosen apostles!  One would think that after three years of teaching, they would understand the nature of Christ’s kingdom, but still they did not!  Even in the last moments of Christ’s time on earth before the ascension, they still expected an earthly kingdom.  Acts 1:6 says, “they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”  Even Jesus’ closest disciples had preconceived notions and biases.  Can Christians today possibly be so bold and brash as to say they do not?

 All throughout the first part of Acts, it is apparent that Peter and the other apostles had to deal with people’s preconceived notions.  He proclaims,  “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know (Acts 2:22).”  Peter was telling them: LOOK!  This was happening right in front of you!  God was showing His approval of Christ in that Jesus was working miracles through Him, and you saw it!  In preaching to the crowd of onlookers, he said “Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you…which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:20-21).”  Peter is basically telling them: God has been telling you about the Christ since the beginning.  You should have known Jesus was the One.  Earlier in the chapter he acknowledges that they were ignorant of the true meaning of the scriptures (Acts 3:17-18).  Peter convicted them, saying that their preconceived ideas kept them from recognizing that Jesus was the Christ. 

 Jesus is called “the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become head of the corner (Acts 4:11).”  This is a reference to the Jews rejecting Jesus.  It is strange that the Jews were looking forward so much to the Messiah that when He came, they didn’t recognize Him.  The reason for this was that they had preconceived ideas of what He would be.

 If they would have let the Scripture speak for itself, they would have known Jesus as the Christ from the beginning.  Christians today also need to let the scriptures speak for themselves.  There are many doctrines in the religious world that people assume (preconceived idea) are in the Bible.   Ideas such as “faith only” and “once saved, always saved” are not found in the Bible.  But when some read the scriptures, it is read through that lens.  In doing so, the truth that is plain to see is missed.  All should learn from the lesson of those Jews.  Preconceived ideas should be left behind and the Holy Spirit should be allowed to plainly speak the truth to all through His Word. 

Going Through Life with Your Turn Signal On?

Almost everyone who has been driving very long has had this experience.  Someone on the road in front of you is driving along with their turn signal on.  For a few moments you prepare for him to slow down, because his turn must be coming up soon.  But it doesn’t take you long to realize that the man in front of you has no intention of turning.  He’s just left his turn signal on.

He’s sending out a message through his forgetfulness: I may be signalling one way, but that isn’t really where I’m going.

This is the way that more than a few Christians live their lives.

They signal that they are going to heaven, but after a short time, others can see the truth.

They signal that they are good, moral people, but those who look at them can see that’s not really the case.

They signal that they are living out Christ in their lives, but anyone who looks very long sees that their mind isn’t on Jesus.

I would wager to say that you see these turn-signal Christians frequently.  They are the ones who assemble with the saints, but who are not engaged in worshiping God.  They are the ones who text while in the pews.  They are the ones who pay little to no attention to the lessons.  Oh, but they are there!  They are signalling “I am a Christian” by showing up, but their actions don’t match up with it.

You may think I’m being unfair and harsh.  Please read on.

I fear that all of us become turn-signal Christians at one point or another–even if it is just for a short time.  By that, I mean that there are times when each one of us gets distracted from our goal, and we slack off in being what God wants us to be.  We stop living out Christ in our lives.  Just like the drivers who leave their turn-signals on, it is usually not intentional–but it happens nonetheless.

Keep that in mind when you see someone who needs to know that they are sending mixed signals.  They probably didn’t even realize it.

The Bible calls for us to constantly examine ourselves (II John 8 among others).  So, examine yourself.  Ask yourself honestly, “Am I a turn signal Christian?”

The great part is that if you find the answer is “yes,” then there is something you can do about it.  Go to God in prayer, admit your sin, and ask for forgiveness (Acts 18:22, I John 1:9).  And then live out your life in a way that matches your profession of Christianity.

Think about it.

Are You Sowing the Seed of the King, Dumb Brother?

Years ago, a kind man named Dooley, after teaching the Wednesday evening Jr. High class at church, decided to share with the class some of the misheard hymn lyrics that he remembered.  I know he mentioned more than one, but I can’t remember the others.  The one I do remember is the title for this post: Are you sowing the seed of the king, dumb brother? (original words are: Are you sowing the seed of the kingdom brother?).

After discussing misheard hymn lyrics in yesterday’s post, this one sprang to mind.  And when it did, it got me to thinking, and I began to ask myself:

Are you sowing the seed of the king, dumb brother?

And that is the exact question I want to pose to you today.

Before anyone gets offended, let me explain.  The word dumb still has the meaning of “silent” or “mute,” though it isn’t used that way much anymore.  For example, look at Isaiah 53:7 (KJV): as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.  This is the meaning I want you to think about.

Are you sowing the seed of the king, silent brother?

Evangelism is stressed in almost every congregation I know.  Bulletin articles are written about it.  Sermons are preached about it.  And every member agrees it needs to be done.  And the congregation doesn’t grow.  So more sermons are preached, more articles are written, and every member is even more convinced that it needs to be done.  But what happens?  Do we go out sowing the seed?  Or are we silent?

Preachers are oftentimes just as guilty as anyone else of being silent.  For some reason, we get it through our heads that we’ve spent hours upon hours studying for teaching classes, writing sermons, preparing articles, and visiting the members, so we’ve “put in our time.”  Somehow we give ourselves a pass for not doing any evangelism outside of the invitation we put at the end of our sermons.

Are you sowing the seed of the king, dumb brother?

It’s easy to point at others and say, “they’re not evangelizing.”  And that is probably a legitimate accusation against many Christians.  But the question isn’t “are they evangelizing?”

The question is “are you evangelizing?”

I’m not comfortable evangelizing.  God never promised a comfortable life.  Those wonderful folks in the Bible who went out evangelizing did it because they wanted to do it.  Their mindset was that it was a glorious thing to bring others to Jesus Christ.  They were willing to do things that may have been uncomfortable—even risking being murdered—because they thought Jesus and His church were worth it.  Do you?

I’m no good at evangelizing.  Have you ever actually tried it?  There are many different methods, and you’d be surprised at how easy some of them are.  Some are as simple as handing a DVD to someone, and telling them, “I really think you’ll find this interesting.  When you get done watching it, let me know what you think.”

I’m afraid.  The one person who knows me best can attest to the fact that I am a massive fraidy-cat when it comes to needles.  I spent a month avoiding a shot, and then when it came time for me to give it to myself, I couldn’t do it.  I was afraid.  But I finally forced myself to do it.  And you know what?  It’s really not that bad.  If you will finally just start doing it, you won’t be afraid anymore.

This article was written for you.  It was also written for me.  Let us both challenge ourselves every day to speak out for Christ and not be dumb—silent—any longer.

Are you sowing the seed of the king, dumb brother?

The Angels Pecked on Me?

One of the most fun things to hear is a child reciting song lyrics, because you know that inevitably they will have misunderstood some of the lines.  And honestly, which one of us hasn’t ever misunderstood the words of one song or another?

In the 70’s there was a song called “Drift Away,” and when I was a kid, I thought the guy was saying, “Give me the Beach Boys and free my soul, I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away.”  It took a long time before I realized it said “Give me the beat, boys.”  One of the most famous examples is Credence Clearwater Revivals’ “Bad Moon Rising.”  You know the line, “there’s a bathroom on the right,” except it actually says, “there’s a bad moon on the rise.”

This misunderstanding of song lyrics isn’t confined to popular music.  I knew a little boy who was scared of angels because of the song which said, “the angels pecked on me from heaven’s open door.”  Some people have wondered why we sing “peas, perfect peas.”  Others question “Who is Father Along, and why will he know all about it?”  The list of misheard hymn lyrics is actually quite extensive.

When children misunderstand things, it is cute.  When adults misunderstand things, it’s not.

If you are married, then you have had this discussion:  “I told you ___________.”  “Wait.  I thought you meant ____________.”

I guarantee that the response from your spouse wasn’t, “Awww, that’s so cute that you misunderstood.”  Many times, the response is “No, I said this,” or some other such thing that shows they don’t find your misunderstanding cute, humorous, or anything remotely like it.

There are so many areas in which we need to work harder to understand.

Most importantly, we need to work harder to understand God’s word.  Most of the religious division in the world comes from people misunderstanding parts of God’s word—sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally, and sometimes it is just because they don’t bother to try.  But wouldn’t it be great if the religious division disappeared and we all began to unite with a proper understanding of God’s word?

We need to work harder to understand our spouses—what they think, what they are saying, what they mean, what they need.  A large number of the arguments between spouses are because they weren’t on the same page [aka didn’t understand where the other was coming from].  Wouldn’t it be great if the arguments in your marriage began to disappear?

We are going to misunderstand things from time to time.  Let’s do our best to make sure that it isn’t for lack of trying.