Teasing and name-calling are often part of childhood. I remember that the socially correct response of my childhood, when being verbally persecuted, was to chant, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” Unfortunately, that response just never did provide much satisfaction, and physical violence often ensued. Even as children, we understand that words do hurt. Unlike a physical injury, which soon heals and is forgotten, an injury from words may be felt for years, or even a lifetime. What we say can drastically impact someone’s life.
Have you ever tried to turn in a warranty item, use a coupon, get your money back, and then return an item? Did you read the fine print? Too often in life, we are handed a raw deal because of some catch, an empty promise of something and the promiser doesn’t carry through. Everything that was said or written was empty talk. Have you ever been driving on a long stretch of highway out west somewhere and you realize your gas tank is on empty and you see a sign that reads, “Next services, 85 miles”? Empty can be a bad situation, an empty guarantee, an empty tank, an empty belly, an empty bank account. Yet, this past weekend we just celebrated something that was empty.
There is a movement that a lot of people are getting into right now called "I am Second." You can find videos of popular and ordinary people who tell their stories about how they accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. There are some awesome stories of what people used to be and what they are now, after becoming a Christian.
By Dennis Reed, First Southern Baptist Church, Norris City
Have you ever wanted to start all over again? Usually this feeling hits you when things are going wrong and the future looks dim. So you divorce your spouse, declare bankruptcy, quit your job, move to a different community, or even do all of the above, in order to start all over again, hoping that a new beginning will have a different ending. Then you find that, even though names, faces, and places are different, you have not changed. You have tried to start over, but you are still the same, and you are still making all the same wrong choices that you made before. You end up in the same situation as before, looking again for a way to start over.
Our church just moved into a new “year” last month. As I look back over the things that happened last year in our church, I see that we had some baptisms of new believers, and some people moved their membership to our church. That means people are coming, getting involved, and are actively doing what God is asking of them when it comes to worship.
Walk in Faith
1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin”
Dairy Day is quickly approaching. Fall festivals are a wonderful time for a community of people to come together to enjoy the changing of the season, good food, and activities of all sorts. I wish to invite those who feel the presence of the Lord in their life to join me and my family, and many others of this community, in the Walk of Faith. What a wonderful opportunity to share in the love of the Lord. The short walk takes place on the Saturday morning of Dairy Day, on Sept. 27. It begins on Eubanks Street (the street in front of the High School) at 8:00 a.m. with prayer. Then we begin the walk north on Conger, then turn toward the old grade school, up Powell to Wabash Street, west to Division, and then south back to the high school.
The walk was the wonderful idea of Miss Penny Barton. As a former physical education teacher and Christian, she thought it was a small sacrifice on our part for the Lord. The first walk took place in 1998 and has been a part of Dairy Day activities ever since. It is a little more than a mile, and the time involved is about an hour. Is this too much to ask for our Lord? Is this too much of a sacrifice of time and energy?
We come to the event well-rested after a night of sleep in our comfortable beds. If we carry anything with us, it might be a bottle of water. No, we don’t have to carry a heavy wooden cross, or be crucified at the end of our walk. We are not being asked to die for the sins of our neighbors, our friends, our family, or complete strangers. No, this walk is a simple testimony of our faith in the One who made a walk many years ago on our behalf. He carried our cross for us so that we don’t have to. He died in our place. And most importantly, He took upon Himself our sins so we no longer are held accountable.
Therefore I challenge you…all who profess, every minister, every elder, every deacon, every church trustee, every Sunday School superintendent, every youth leader, every Sunday School teacher, every Christian…to come walk. I extend an invitation to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ to come join us on a simple walk through the streets of Norris City as a display of our faith in the One who gives us eternal life, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Joe Skaggs, minister of the Norris City Christian Church and Community Church of Carmi.
Upon learning the latest news, visiting with friends and loved ones, overhearing conversations, or just interacting with people, it becomes very evident that overcoming challenges is the fabric of life. Learning of events that people are dealing with reminds us of how our world can get turned upside down, and quickly.
While living life as Christians, we use God’s gift of prayer to intercede for others, as well as to lift our petitions and requests to God. My, how our world would get righted quickly if God answered our prayers instantly. However, many times God’s answers to our prayers clearly show that God’s plans are not our plans. So how do we live life when our prayers are not answered instantly, nor the way we want? [Read more...]