Forgiven, to Serve

Forgiven, to Serve

Church
Once, while we were in France, a brother who had abandoned the fellowship of the Church for several weeks because of some personal problems decided to come back on a certain Sunday morning. In our congregation, there was no "invitation" song, so having asked to say a word at the beginning of the worship hour, he stood up and explained what he had been going through, confessed his sins and asked for forgiveness. In the prayer that followed, another brother implored the Lord to forgive this brother and expressed the fact that all the gathered brethren also forgave him. Now, since in our congregation the responsibilities for each service (song leader, speaker, Lord's supper, etc.) were always decided months before, it happened that this repentant brother, newly restored to his…
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Milestones

Milestones

Church
“Milestones are installed to provide linear referencing points along the road. This can be used to reassure travelers that the proper path is being followed, and to indicate either distance traveled or the remaining distance to a destination” (Wikipedia, “Milestone,” 2021). Life is full of milestones. The first words. First steps. The first day of school. Learning to ride a bike. Driving a car for the first time. The first job. Graduation. Marriage. A new baby. Some milestones we anticipate and celebrate. Others, like mile markers on the side of the highway, we pass by without paying much attention. Several are celebrating the milestone of high school and college graduation right now. This is a monumental and stressful time for our children and our parents! Whether it’s high school or…
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Just Like You and Me

Just Like You and Me

Church
What does it mean to be famous? What makes someone a hero? What qualities determine a person’s celebrity status? Who determines the characteristics of the brave? If one has done exemplary things or has become an influencer, then why is their status elevated? At some point in our lives, we all dream about being famous. We dream about gaining wealth and celebrity status. We mentally go through what if situations that may make us the hero. We calculate the amount of courage or bravery we might need if we happen to find ourselves in the “right place at the right time.” I have met famous people. I have a picture with Rob Van Winkle (aka Vanilla Ice). I shook the hand of the famous comedian Sinbad. I have ridden in…
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Consumer Religion

Consumer Religion

Church
Whenever and company is considering moving a part of their business to a certain area of the country, they conduct a consumer demographic of the area to see if the area will support their business. They will survey the area to find out the median age, salary level, family size, and interests of the community. They want to know what the community wants and whether they can provide it to them. They then, if possible and the consumer index is healthy with a future for profit, design and modify the business to conform to the community and their perceived needs or wants. This is a marketing technique used by almost all successful business enterprises. To understand this kind of thinking, it may be good to define some terms. By Consumer…
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