Monday, February 23, 2009

A Greater Love

By H. L. Gradowith

 H. L.
Has any man ever shown a greater love
Than did our Redeemer when sadly He said,
"I have a baptism to be baptized with..."?
He spoke this of the Cross, where He hung 'til dead.

No others have even equaled this great love,
For, even though others have died for their friends,
Those others often turned from God's way of Truth:
Yet He did nothing for which to make amends...

This baptism for Him was an act of love
For He stood unworthy of sin's wages,
The anger of God was not pointed at Him:
He was the Messiah -- The Rock of Ages!

He forfeited His all just to prove His love,
It was truly a tremendous sacrifice;
The horrific anxiety He endured
For He well knew that nothing else would suffice.

On the Cross, then, He proved to us His great love,
Of the truth of that there's no question at all;
The question is:  What have we done in response?
In the Judgment will we stand, or will we fall?

"Come unto Me and bathe yourselves in my love,
Your every sin my blood will wash away;
I will wash you and cleanse you and make you whole,
And then up to Heaven I'll take you someday..."

- H. L. Gradowith  For more information on H. L. Gradowith and GRADOWITH POEMS e-mail group visit - the website of Tim Smith, minister of the Enon church of Christ in Webb, AL.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Kind of Love I Want

     It was approximately 8.30 a.m. on a busy morning at the doctor's office when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated he was in a hurry to make an appointment by 9.00 a.m.
     I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it might be an hour before he would be seen. Seeing him look at his watch, I decided, since I was not busy with another patient I would evaluate his wound. On examination, I saw it was well healed so I talked to the doctor and got the supplies to remove his sutures.
     While redressing his wound, we engaged in conversation. I asked him if he was in a hurry to meet another doctor’s appointment. He said no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He said that she was a long-time victim of Alzheimer's Disease.
     I asked if she would be worried if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was; in fact, she had not recognized him in five years. I was surprised and asked, “And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?” He smiled, patted my head, and said, “She doesn't know who I am, but I still know who she is.”
     I had to hold back tears as he left. Goose bumps covered my arm as I thought, "That's is the kind of love I want in my life!"
     True love is neither physical nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be and will not be.

- Author Unknown

As I read this article, I could not hold back the tears either for as I read it I thought about my dad, and how he had done the same for my mother. Dad and Mum were married for 62 and a half years before mum passed away in 1996. For as long as he could possibly do so, dad took care of mum at home even though it was very difficult for him. Even then she did not know him much of the time and would often physically hit out at him and it was extremely difficult for him to do the things for her that needed to be done. Very reluctantly, after he had been ill, and the doctor told him he had to put mum in a home, he relented. After mum went to the home dad would go every day and sit with her, even though she did not recognize him. I remember one year, before my annual mission trip to England, I had arranged with my brother and sister and their families to meet at the home in the afternoon. Dad didn't even know I was coming. I arrived first. He looked up and saw me enter the lounge and started to say, "Hello" when he realized who it was. The others continued to come after that and we spent the rest of the day with them until it was time to leave and we took dad out for an evening meal.

Dad continued his ritual for a number of years until mum finally passed away on February 11, 1996. He only missed when he was too ill to leave the house. He would not have had it any other way. Even though they were not Christians and would not profess to have been such, they exemplified the love that husbands and wives should have for each other. I know mum would have done the same for dad had the situation been reversed. When mum died, we all thought that dad would not survive long without his “sweetheart” but he continued to live an active life for another nine years passing away on February 12, 2005 some nine years later. One of his last acts was to go to the grave site that he had so lovingly tendered for nine years on the anniversary of her passing. He passed away the next morning soon after rising and getting the mail as he was preparing to get a cup of tea before beginning his day.

Yes, dad and mum left a great example of love to their children and grandchildren. The love that dad showed for mum in those final years truly exemplifies what love should be.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it(Ephesians 5:25).

- via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC.  Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: or e-mail:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tough Love

By Jay Lockhart

In the April 27, 2006 issue of Good Tidings of Good Thingsa weekly bulletin of the Jacksonville , Alabama church, I read an article by Don Martin that reminded me of the need that sometimes arises for tough love. The article was about Paul “Bear” Bryant, the legendary football coach of the Crimson Tide at the University of Alabama .

When Joe Namath was the star quarterback at Alabama , he was found guilty of breaking team rules. Everyone believed that Namath was indispensable to the team and with two games left on the schedule all eyes were on Coach Bryant to see what he would do with his star. Many were surprised when Bear informed Namath that he was suspended for the year and maybe forever. Bryant received over 6000 letters of protest from fans who knew the chances of Alabama winning without Namath were slim. However, the coach stood firm and played the final two games without his star, winning both by narrow margins. Namath returned the next year and led the Crimson Tide to the National Championship.

Years later Namath agreed that Bryant was right to stick by the suspension. What did Coach Bryant teach his team about himself? What did Namath learn from this incident? What did the team learn that would affect it for years to come? There is a time to practice tough love.

This principle applies to the family. If parents are to lead their children in the right way, they must learn to practice tough love. When rules are broken, consequences must follow . . . Parents must stick by their guns. It’s not because they love so little, but because they love so much. Life-changing lessons may be learned by the practice of tough love.

The principle applies in the church, too. Under the leadership of our shepherds we are to dwell together in love and unity. When someone steps out of line, fails to walk in unity and love, and disturbs the life of the body, then that person must be confronted and corrected (Romans 16:17, 18). It’s not the easy thing to do, but it is the right thing to do. And it’s not because we love so little, but because we love people and the church so much.

Jay Lockhart; via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Love Them Anyway

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.

            Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

            Love them anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.

            Succeed anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

            Be honest and frank anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

            Do good anyway.

The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the

            Smallest people with the smallest minds.

            Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.

            Fight for some underdogs anyway.

What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight.

            Build anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.

            Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

 - Author Unknown