Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Based on the Papers

Local newspapers always get involved in rivalries. One small town weekly reported the results of a horse race at the county fair. Only two horses were entered. The first was owned by a man named Brown, who was a local friend of the editor. The other horse belonged to a man named Colburn who lived across the county. Colburn's horse won, but the paper told the story this way: "Brown's horse came in second. Colburn's horse came in next to last."

Concord Printing newsletter, Cape Girardeau, MO, date unknown.

Be More Specific

Jimmy Durante: "Where are my glasses?"
Friend: "They're right there on your nose."
Durante: "Can you be more specific?"

Concord Printing newsletter, Cape Girardeau, MO, date unknown.

Beyond Life's Gateway

There's an open gate,
At the end of a road.
Through which each must go alone.

And there in a light
We cannot see,
Our Father claims His own----

Beyond the gate, your love one,
Finds happiness and rest,

And there is comfort in the thought,
That a loving God knows best.


Can't Swim

Lyndon Johnson was not treated well by the press when he was president. He once complained, "If I walked across the Potomac the newspaper headlines would read, "President Can't Swim."

Concord Printing newsletter, Cape Girardeau, MO, date unknown.

For Bloodstained Hands

By David A. Sargent

     In 1893 a great “Parliament of Religions” was held in Chicago, Illinois. Members of all the various cults were gathered in attendance: there were Hindus, and Buddhists, and representatives of all sorts of exotic Eastern religions. It was designed to be a great festival of tolerance and ecumenical brotherhood, but a preacher, Joseph Cook of Boston, offered a reminder that not all religions are equal.
    During one of the sessions he rose and dramatically announced, “Gentlemen, I beg to introduce to you a woman with a great sorrow. Bloodstains are on her hands, and nothing she has tried will remove them. The blood is that of murder. She has been driven to desperation in her distress. Is there anything in your religion that will remove her sin and give her peace?” A hush fell on the gathering. Not one of the swamis or monks said a word.
    In the heaviness of that silence Cook abruptly raised his eyes heavenward and cried out, “John, can you tell this woman how to get rid of her awful sin?” The preacher waited, as if listening for a reply. Suddenly he cried out, “Listen, John speaks. 1 John 1:7 – ‘The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, purifies us from all sin.’”
    Not a soul broke the silence that followed; all the representatives of Eastern religions and Western cults sat speechless. Why? Because ONLY Christianity can make
that statement: only the shed blood of Jesus can claim the power to forgive
“all sin.” *
    This is a sublime truth for ALL of us because “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  ALL of us have the stain of guilt of sin in our lives.
What can wash away my sin and yours?  Nothing but the BLOOD of Jesus!
    Peter and the other apostles preached to a crowd in Jerusalem that had the blood of Jesus Christ on their hands.  Peter declared, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).
    Their response:  “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’" (Acts 2:37).  They wanted to know: Is there anything that can remove our sin and give us peace?
    The answer: “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38).
    Amazing Grace!  The bloodstained hands of those who cried out for the crucifixion of Jesus could be washed clean by the blood that He shed on the cross!  Jesus made forgiveness possible by dying on the cross as payment for sin (Ephesians 1:7).
    In the same way, OUR bloodstained hands can be washed clean by the cleansing blood of Christ when we respond in faith: placing our trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turning from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38).
    Won’t YOU be washed by the blood of Jesus to have your sins forgiven?

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

* Source: Paul Lee Tam, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations, Illustration #479, page 203, as qtd. by Dan Williams, preaching minister for the College Avenue church of Christ in El Dorado, AR, in a sermon entitled “Power in the Blood.”  See www.cacoc.org

I Knew You'd Be Coming!

By Charlie T. Garner

    This is a true story. I know personally the parties involved. Love dwindled, unhappiness and dissatisfaction grew, daily fussing and fighting characterized the relationship of the husband and wife, and, ultimately, a divorce wrecked the home, leaving two bewildered, emotionally scarred children in its wake. The father gained custody and the mother went her own way, doing her own thing.
    The children loved their mother. Strange thing about love - it's so often blind to the faults of those we love. Months went by and the mother longed to see her children. She mustered up the courage to visit. Leaving her car at the curb, she walked to the front door only to find no one at home. But, posted on the door was a note from the youngest of her two boys, the seven-year-old. It read, "Mother, I'm at the park. Please come to the park." She hurriedly made her way to the park, and there, sure enough, was the little fellow. After the preliminary hugs and kissed, the mother, still amazed by the note, said, "Honey, how did you know I was coming to see you today?"
    "Oh, I didn't," he answered.
    "But, what made you put the note on the door if you didn't know I was coming?"
    In response, the love-starved little one said, "I put a note on the door every day, every time I leave, 'cause I knew you'd be coming to see me."
    "I knew you'd be coming to see me!" I wonder if there are not those OUT THERE, life's rejects, those hurt by cruel circumstance, those whose life seems to be hopelessly going nowhere, those groping for some spiritual meaning in their lives, who are daily placing a note on their door which reads, "I'm not at home just now, but please - PLEASE - come find me!"
    The world is filled with people who do not know who they need to talk to or just how to solve their heavy, seemingly unbearable problems, but they are confident that someone, somewhere has those answers and that someone cares enough to go looking for them.
    Someone is waiting for you! Christians, with the Good Book in their hands and love in their hearts have those answers. On someone's door out there is a note which reads, "I knew you'd come looking for me." Let's not fail them. Out there, somewhere, someone is waiting on you.

Friendly Visitor, weekly bulletin of the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, AL. September 7, 1989.

Not So Hot

The wife of ex-New York Mayor John Lindsey told Yogi Berra that he looked comfortably cool in his new summer suit. "Thanks," Berra responded. "You don't look so hot yourself."

Concord Printing newsletter, Cape Girardeau, MO, date unknown.

Only One Savior

It is said that when one of the most noted English physicians was succumbing to a fatal disease, he went from one authority to another until he had reached the highest on the continent. Telling this man his trouble, he received the reply, "The only man who can save you  is an English physician, Dr. Darwin of Derby," Sad was the reply, "I am Dr. Darwin of Derby." He was the best, but he could not save himself. Even the best of us cannot save ourselves.

Pulpit Helps. Date unknown.

Repledging Our Love

    Queen Victoria, Alexandria Victoria, queen of Great Britain, Ireland and Empress of India, was born in London on May 24, 1819, the only child of the Duke of Kent who was the fourth son of George III. She became queen at the death of her uncle George IV on June 20, 1837 and was crowned June 28, 1838. Queen Victoria, like many of the royal family in England accumulated great wealth. Much of the royal wealth was frequently used to support expenses for wars, growth or domestic problems. As the wealth grew it was kept int he Tower of London. Now it is only used ceremonially or on formal occasions. It is, of course, a major part of the throne's wealth.
    As India became more and more a major source of the Eastern trade, the queen made many allegiances with the Indian people. One small boy sent a magnificent diamond to the queen. He was to become the Maharajah of Punjac. The diamond was to become one of the prized crown jewels and was kept in the Tower of London under constant guard.
    When the boy grew to manhood he traveled to England and visited the queen in her palace in London. After a brief time, he asked to see the diamond given many years before. The jewel was brought and presented to the Maharajah. Taking the diamond and inspecting it, he kneeled before the queen. He said, "Madam, I gave this jewel when I was too young to know what I was doing. I want to give it to you in my strength, with all my heart and affection and gratitude, now and forever, fully realizing all that I do."
    As we have time let us each review how much value our soul is and how precious it is to our Christ. It is  one of his crown jewels.Frequently we need to repledge out allegiance to the Lord of Lords, with deep affection and love.

Pulpit Helps, date unknown.

True Treasure...

By David A. Sargent

    On November 16, 1992, Eric Hawes, a metal-detecting enthusiast, was asked to help a local farmer find his hammer, which had been lost in a field. Using his metal detector, Hawes found something else instead: coins and other gold and silver objects.  He immediately recognized it as something valuable, so he reported to the Suffolk County Council, owners of the land.  The Suffolk Archaeological Unit professionally removed the contents on the following day.  The collection is now in the British Museum.  The find consisted of “15,000 gold and silver coins, gold jewelry and numerous small items of silver tableware, including pepper pots, ladles and spoons" (www.britishmuseum.org).
    It is estimated that this Roman treasure, better known as the Hoxne (pronounced 'Hoxon') Hoard, was buried around 407-408 A.D. as Roman rule in Britain was deteriorating.  It may have been hidden due to the political turmoil of the time.  The hoard had been buried in a wooden box that had long since rotted away.  The careful burial of this treasure probably means that the owner intended to come back and recover it later, but for whatever reason was unable to do so. 
    It was thus declared “treasure trove,” that is, objects of gold or silver that had been hidden with the intention of recovery but for which the original owner could not be found. Such discovery is to be reported to the police and subject to a coroner's inquest. If the find is declared treasure trove, it reverts to the British Crown and can be acquired by a museum on payment of a sum equal to its full market value. This amount then is passed on to the finder as a reward.
    The British Museum purchased the treasure and a reward was paid to Hawes. Hawes gave the hammerless farmer, Peter Whatling, half of the 1.75 million British pounds paid him. *
    The Hoxne Hoard Treasure, however, is not the GREATEST treasure!
    LISTEN to the words of Jesus....
    "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” – Matthew 13:44
    The GREATEST TREASURE is to be a part of the kingdom of heaven, for therein are the greater, spiritual, and eternal blessings!
    Jesus Christ, God’s Son, gave His life on the cross to pay the price for the sins of the world (Ephesians 1:7).  Those who accept His offer of salvation through trusting faith (Acts 16:30-31), repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confession of His name before men (Romans 10:9-10), and baptism (immersion) into Christ (Acts 2:38), have their sins washed away by His blood and are added to the Kingdom of Christ, the church (Acts 2:41, 47; Colossians 1:13).
    Jesus DIED in order to PURCHASE His kingdom (see Acts 20:28).  It is worth much more than any sacrifice that we might make in order to be a part of His kingdom!
    Won’t YOU trust and obey the King of kings so that you can have True Treasure?

P.S.  Eric Hawes shared HIS treasure.  Won’t YOU share the True Treasure of Christ and His kingdom with others?  Why not share Living Water with someone today?

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

* Sources: Neal Pollard, minister of the Bear Valley Church of Christ in Denver, CO, in his article entitled “The $3 Million Dollar Hammer.” Daily Bread, 8-12-10.  See http://www.bearvalleycofc.org/
Additional information gleaned from The Encyclopaedia Romana, the British Museum (www.britishmuseum.org), and www.hoxne.net

Would You Hesitate to Ask?

By David Gibson

    The other day I heard about a roomful of doctors eating together. One doctor gets up from the table, leaves the room, and, in minutes, is dead. A morsel of food had lodged in his windpipe, and he choked to death.
    The tragedy of this incident is heightened by the fact that probably any one of those doctors could have performed the Heimlich Maneuver or, if need be, a tracheotomy to restore his breathing. But they didn't know anything was wrong - he didn't tell them. He just got up and died.
    There's a lesson here somewhere for those of us in the church. A member has a problem in his life: with his marriage or his children, or a personal problem with money, or alcohol, or grief, or loneliness, or depression, or whatever. He feels embarrassed about the situation, so he doesn't tell his brothers and sisters in Christ that he is struggling. Instead he withdraws himself or puts on a brave front and struggles on alone. Sometimes, he is crushed beneath the load, and on one knew it until it was too late.
    But the scriptures say: "Bear one another's burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:1) That's one big reason why Christ in His wisdom placed us together in His church - to bear burdens, and to have our burdens borne. Of course, many problems can't be solved as quickly as that of a choking victim, but most problems become more bearable when shared with our brethren.
    Have you been keeping a problem to yourself that is about to get you down? Why not share it with at least one of your fellow-Christians? Don't let pride keep you from saying, "I need help." We all do.

The Challenger, the weekly bulletin of the Church of Christ, Carbondale, IL [date unknown].