Monday, November 29, 2010

Another Thanksgiving Poem

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!


By Micheal Dubina

Each day of life that dawns for me
Is dearer than it used to be
And I am more content, each day,
To live each hour a better way;
I want for less - and ask for less -
Of all that life proclaims is best
And find my greatest need, each day,
Is just to worship God and pray.

I'm getting old and very tired
Of chasing dreams that youth inspired,
And tired of chasing after goals
That lack rewards for heart and soul;
Today - I only strive to find
A simple peace of heart and mind
And try to make each dawning day
A bond of love to Heaven's way.

- Micheal Dubina; Submitted by Mark McWhorter. Mark may be contacted at

Gratitude Quote

"Gratitude is not a spiritual or moral dessert which we may take or push away according to the whims of the moment, and in either case without material consequences. Gratitude is the very bread and meat of spiritual and moral health, individually and collectively. What was the seed of disintegration that corrupted the heart of the ancient world beyond the point of divine remedy...? What was it but ingratitude?"

- Noel Smith

Monday, November 22, 2010


Outside my window, a new day I see,
And only I can determine what kind of day it will be.
It can be busy and sunny, laughing and gay,
Or boring and cold, unhappy and gray.
For my own state of mind is the determining key,
For I am only the person I let myself be.
I can be thoughtful and do all I can to help,
Or be selfish and just think of myself.
I can enjoy what I do and make it seem fun,
Or gripe and complain and make it hard on someone.
I can be patient with those who may not understand
Or belittle and hurt them as much as I can.
But I have faith in the Lord and believe when I say
I personally intend to make the best of each day.

- Author Unknown; 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:

Thanksgiving Poem

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

Thanksgiving Poem

By Alexander Pope

Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labour when the end was rest,
Indulged the day that housed their annual grain,
With feasts, and off'rings, and a thankful strain.

The First Thanksgiving

By Arthur Guiterman,

So once in every year we throng
Upon a day apart,
To praise the Lord with feast and song
In thankfulness of heart.

Thinking and Thanksgiving

By Bob Spurlin

Almost every culture in the world has held celebrations of thanks for a plentiful harvest. The American Thanksgiving holiday began as a feast of thanksgiving in the early days of the American colonies almost four hundred years ago.

In 1620, the Pilgrims settled in what is now the state of Massachusetts. Their first winter in the New World was difficult. They had arrived too late to grow many crops, and without fresh food, half the colony died from disease. The following spring the Indians taught them how to grow corn (maize), and other crops as well. Autumn descended on them in 1621, and bountiful crops of corn, barley, beans and pumpkins were harvested. The colonists had much to be thankful for, so a feast was planned. They invited the local Indian chief and 90 Indians to join them in a celebration of Thanksgiving. The Indians brought deer to roast with the turkeys and other wild game offered by the colonists. To this first Thanksgiving, the Indians had even brought popcorn.

The U.S. Congress in 1941 established the fourth Thursday of November as the official time when Thanksgiving would be celebrated. President Roosevelt signed this bill into U.S. law on November 26th of that year, and Americans continue to this day in celebrating Thanksgiving Day. Christians must always have the spirit of thanksgiving and possessing this characteristic is not only expected, but the teachings of Holy Writ compel it.

We all have our special memories of Thanksgiving with family members, children, and grandchildren coming home to enjoy the warm embrace of loved ones. We think of the beautiful baked turkey, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, and all the trimmings epitomizing the ideal Thanksgiving. Americans, according to surveys, reveal they consume more food and put on more calories during the Thanksgiving holiday than any other time of the year. The consumption of food is not the issue of this article; but rather the emphasis we place on this special holiday to the exclusion of those needing our help. THINKING AND THANKSGIVING should be our mantra when it comes to:

THE ATTENTION WE GIVE THE SICK AND SHUT-INS. Thinking about the shut-in, or sick person alone without a meal, and no one to care for him/her should stir a responsive chord within all of us (Mt. 25:34-40). David said, "For the needy shall not be forgotten, the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever" (Psalm 9:18). The needy, and the poor, whose expectation is from the Lord, are never forgotten. The care of those sick and shut-in restricted to their homes or a nursing home - assisted living facility needs our compassion and attention. Many of these persons were stalwart Christians, who have dedicated their lives to building up the church of the Lord. They remain valuable, worthwhile, and deserving of our time. For nine of the last ten years I have lived the life of a shut-in, and know firsthand of the unique problems this group has in managing the trials they face.

The admonition by James "To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction," includes the orphans, widows-widowers, and also the sick and shut-in. The Christian admonition to visit suggests "supply or care for those in need." Those confined to home suffer loneliness, isolation, and often neglect compelling active Christians to fill this void. Good fortune has smiled on this shut-in with a devoted wife-caregiver, attentive family, and others that have reached out to lend their support. Sadly, this is not the general rule for many shut-ins as many are forgotten. The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us; we would urge you to consider the sick and shut-in by spending a few moments of your time to give them cheer and support.

GIVE ATTENTION TO THOSE LIVING WITHOUT THE BASIC NECESSITIES OF LIFE. We have seen the news reports of those living in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Many have suffered the loss of their homes in the fraction of a few seconds. My good friend, Mark Lance, minister of the Chalmette church of Christ, Chalmette, LA (suburb of New Orleans) lost their home, all their belongings and the church building where Christians met for study and worship. Virtually all of their membership is displaced, but their strong faith and heads held high, combined with a caring brotherhood will help them through this tragedy. Katrina and other devastating storms quickly transformed the lives of thousands on the gulf coast to rubble. Many have lost all their physical possessions with the blink of an eye. Families losing their homes and material things cannot compare with the loss of a husband, wife, or child. News accounts tell us that many remain missing as countless children have vanished during this explosion of "Mother Natures" wrath.

Coming to the help of those, as described above, brings out the best in the human spirit. Seeing Christians give assistance with their checkbook, and with personal items going to those losing everything speaks volumes of their concern. The king in Proverbs 31 is making a case for the worthy woman, and states: "She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy (Proverbs 31:20). This is truly a woman of charity giving aid and comfort to the poor, unfortunate, and destitute. She knows that in every gift coming from God calls for us to give back to those in need.

We are all bountifully blessed by the Creator meaning we must respond in kind. Paul writes, "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully" (2 Cor. 9:6). This is an ancient principle going back to the earliest of time. The expression of the apostle clearly suggests, when a man sows little he must expect to reap little. Conversely, if we sow liberally we would expect to reap bountifully. Beloved, as the Thanksgiving season approaches, let us reach out to those in our communities, neighborhoods, and elsewhere to give attention to those in need of the most basic necessities of life.

GIVE ATTENTION TO THOSE SPIRITUALLY MALNOURISHED. In our area many charities including civic clubs, food banks, and TV outlets will challenge those to bring food and drop off the items at a convenient location, and those malnourished and hungry will have a sumptuous meal on Thanksgiving Day.

Giving food to the physically malnourished is a worthy goal and we commend this activity. However, giving attention to the spiritually hungry far exceeds the physical. Jesus said, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness . . ." (Mt. 5:6). Jesus uses two of the most expressive words in all the human experience, "hunger and thirst." Hunger and thirst are terms signifying great desire. It would be difficult to find two words that convey the attitude we should have in obtaining the righteousness of God. These occur daily and when discontinued for any length of time certain distress and calamity will surely come. Just imagine going days or weeks without food and drink? Peter writes, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby" (I Peter 2:1). Newborns have a natural instinct, a yearning, or longing after to sustain their lives. They know that only mother's milk can supply the nourishment that sustaining their young lives.

My experience as a gospel preacher has caused me to wonder if we had the same desire for the Word of God, as we do for a sumptuous meal at the finest restaurant. Which bothers you most, missing Bible study and worship, or missing that favorite meal? What bothers you most, missing Bible study and worship, or your favorite football game, or athletic event? What bothers you most, missing Bible study and worship, or a fishing-hunting trip? These questions put into perspective our attitude toward spiritual things.

Countless souls in our community, neighborhood, and down the street is malnourished when it comes to receiving proper spiritual food. We would not consider taking spoiled food from the garbage can, and feeding it to those never having a proper meal. Fundamentally, we must bring them the gospel in its purest form leading each soul to the "bread of life" (John 6:35, 6:48). The spiritually malnourished must learn the basics of hearing the word (Rom. 10:17; believing in Christ as Lord (John 8:24; Heb. 11:6); repenting (changing of one's heart and life) of sin (Luke. 13:3; Acts 17:30; 2 Pet. 3:9); confessing Christ as Lord (Rom. 10:10; and baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Mk. 16:16).

THINKING AND THANKSGIVING go hand and glove as we look around seeing those in need, and with compassionate hearts supply to those acutely in need. These are three areas that need our rapt attention. So, as we sit down to eat that wonderful Thanksgiving meal with our loved ones, ponder those that are in need by showing our concern and thoughtfulness. We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers.

- Bob Spurlin, the "horizontal" preacher, has been bedridden with Multiple Sclerosis for a number of years, yet continues to faithfully serve his Lord through a number of avenues, most notably his writing. Bob can be contacted through his website, (©2000-2006 BOB SPURLIN).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today and Every Day

By Diana Sue Lindley

I want so much to please You, Lord,
In all I do and say,
In all my ways acknowledge You,
Today and every day.
You've blessed me in so many ways,
Too numerous to tell,
That just the mention of Your name
Reminds me all is well.
You've walked with me through valleys dim;
Together we've climbed the hills,
And all along the rocky roads,
You walk beside me still.

Through all the storms, You've sheltered me;
In my hunger, I was fed.
You've come to be my resting place
At the end of daily tread.
I know that I could ne'er repay
The blessings You impart,
But, too, I know that all You ask
Is the offering of my heart ...
So, for today and every day,
I trust my life will show
How much I want to please You,
For Lord, I love You so.

- Diana Sue Lindley; Submitted by Mark McWhorter. Mark may be contacted at


l. “If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend” . . . . Lincoln.
2. Encourage young man, Help a man see how he can be a success in life.
3. Try to get a man to tell you what is his greatest ambition in life. Help him raise his sights.
4. If anyone has inspired you, or helped you in any way, don’t keep is a secret. Tell him about it.
5. Ask a man: “How did you happen to get started in this business? Then, be a good listener.

- Author Unknown

Monday, November 8, 2010

What You Preach

The first sermon preached on Sunday is not by the pulpit minister, but by YOU! Let's look at and think about a few of the sermons you preach by your demeanor and attitude.

What You Preach
1) YOU preach a message of Good Cheer when you say "Good Morning" to those you meet.
2) YOU preach a message of "Welcome, We have room for you!" when you slide down the pew in-stead of forcing others to squeeze in front of you.
3) YOU preach a message of Hope and Joy when you sing enthusiastically during the song service.
4) YOU preach a message of Respect for God and His Word when you listen attentively, follow in your Bible and take notes during the sermon.
5) YOU preach a message of Hope when you rev-erently partake of the Lord's Supper.
6) YOU preach a message of Faith when you pur-posely give of your means.
7) YOU preach a message of Love when you smile, say hello, introduce yourself to guests and invite them to return.

Many messages are preached before the preacher stands in the pulpit. If they are "preached" with the right attitude of heart, then the message the preacher presents from the pulpit will be much bet-ter received.

Come each service and "preach your sermon" --- it has eternal significance! . ◘

- via the Lake Hills Letter, weekly bulletin of the Lake Hills church of Christ in Chattanooga, TN. Shane Robinson preaches for the congregation, and he may be contacted through their website at

"Precious Memories”

By Kyle Moses

“And I’m proud to be an American,
Where at least I know I’m free;
And I won’t forget the men who died,
Who gave that right to me.
And I’ll proudly stand up
Next to him to defend her still today,
‘cause there ain’t no doubt I love this Land:
God bless the U.S.A.!”
-Lee Greenwood

Tomorrow is the national day of memory for those who fought in all of our wars and died defending our freedoms while bringing freedoms to others.

Memorial Day is generally remembered as the first day that the public swimming pool opens, that the summer holidays begin, or when we can gather with friends and families and grill hotdogs and hamburgers. I encourage you to take a little time tomorrow, yea even every day, to thank our God for the freedoms that He afforded us to enjoy as Americans.

Lee Greenwood’s song brings to my memory all of the wars that have been fought for our freedoms as Americans. When I hear it, I cannot help but be thankful for our fallen heroes. How precious are the memories of all our soldiers who fell in hopes of bringing a better life for their home land.

God bless America.

- Kyle Moses; via the weekly bulletin of the church of Christ in Mathis, Texas. Justin Guess serves as the pulpit minister for the congregation. You may visit their website at

Monday, November 1, 2010

Return to Fundamentals

By Bob Spurlin

Recently I enjoyed an interesting conversation with a brother and former elder in the church. We mutually agreed that our communities and society at large is becoming morally bankrupt. Many factors have contributed to such a coarsening of morals in our neighborhoods, not the least of which is a failure of the church to reaffirm the basic fundamentals of the Bible. As a child of the 50s and 60s the basic fundamentals of right and wrong were articulated with clarity. We see these basic truths slipping away when we fail to keep these principles deeply rooted before the church, family, and our communities. In far too many neighborhoods, and in the church we see have seen the absolute standards of right and wrong lowered before our eyes.

Observe the following basic principles that need serious consideration for our time: (1) A belief in the existence in God; (2) A belief in the inspiration of the Bible; (3) A belief in the authority of the scriptures; (4) A revival of the home as God mandates; (5) A clear understanding of sin and its consequences; (6) A belief in the undenominational nature of the church of Christ. These are elementary, simple, and fundamental points that have been neglected far too long.

We would not want to omit the fundamentals of mathematics, English, history, and science in the education of our children. These subjects are basic and primary to the instruction of all students. Likewise a return to the basic fundamentals of the Bible will bring us to an understanding of God’s will.

- Bob Spurlin, the "horizontal" preacher, has been bedridden with Multiple Sclerosis for a number of years, yet continues to faithfully serve his Lord through a number of avenues, most notably his writing. Bob can be contacted through his website, (©2000-2006 BOB SPURLIN).

The Value of Teachers

By Alan Smith

There is a beautiful legend about a king who decided to set aside a special day to honor his greatest subject. When the big day arrived, there was a large gathering in the palace courtyard. Four finalists were brought forward, and from these four, the king would select the winner.

The first person presented was a wealthy philanthropist. The king was told that this man was highly deserving of the honor because of his humanitarian efforts. He had given much of his wealth to the poor.

The second person was a celebrated physician. The king was told that this doctor was highly deserving of the honor because he had rendered faithful and dedicated service to the sick for many years.

The third person was a distinguished judge. The king was told that the judge was worthy because he was noted for his wisdom, his fairness, and his brilliant decisions.

The fourth person presented was an elderly woman. Everyone was quite surprised to see her there, because her manner was quite humble, as was her dress. She hardly looked the part of someone who would be honored as the greatest subject in the kingdom. What chance could she possibly have, when compared to the other three, who had accomplished so much? Even so, there was something about her the look of love in her face, the understanding in her eyes, her quiet confidence.

The king was intrigued, to say the least, and somewhat puzzled by her presence. He asked who she was. The answer came: "You see the philanthropist, the doctor, and the judge? Well, she was their teacher!"

It was James who wrote, "Brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers." (James 3:1, GOD'S WORD). He points out that teachers will be judged more severely. He could just as easily have said that teachers have a greater responsibility, a greater challenge, a greater opportunity to affect the lives of people in a negative way. It is impossible to teach without using words, and with greater use of words comes a greater danger that the words will do harm.

But thanks be to God that there are those who face that challenge and assume that responsibility and make a diligent effort to use their words as an opportunity to affect the lives of people in a positive way. Those of you who are teachers -- who can begin to measure the tremendous effect that you are having in the lives of the children (and adults) in your classrooms? You may not see the results of your efforts for years. In fact, you may never get to see the results. But you do make a difference.

Those of you who are schoolteachers are teaching not only the basics of education, but you are teaching values and character. Those of you who are Bible class teachers are filling the minds and hearts of our children with stories of faith that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Those of you who are preachers are strengthening the family of God and bringing salvation to the lost.

So, my hat is off to all of you who are teachers because you make a difference!

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach." (Romans 12:6-7)

Have a great day!

- Alan Smith, author of the popular "Thought For Today," and minister for the White House church of Christ in White House, TN, may be contacted at