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.