Monday, December 28, 2009


By J. R. Chism

I have been reading in church bulletins about resolutions. It seems that January 1st is the time most people make an effort to improve. I find nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, if it helps, do it! However, instead of trying to list all the things we need to make, and items we need to leave off, why not try a simple resolution. I read where one preacher said he would make the following promise for the New Year.

- I will go nowhere I couldn’t take Jesus.
- I will say nothing I wouldn’t want Him to hear.
- I will do nothing I wouldn’t want Him to see.

I think this about covers it for me, at least. How about you?

- J. R. Chism, Lamesa, TX (Bulletin Digest); via The Reminder, the weekly bulletin of the church of Christ in Dexter, MO. Travis L. Quertermous preaches for the congregation, and he may be contacted at or through the church’s website:, MO

Monday, December 21, 2009

'Tis Season the Season

By Shane Robinson

The holiday season has officially begun. How do you feel about the holidays this year? For many Americans, this holiday season will not as extravagant as it was for them in years past (at least this is what the media is saying). With the current economic situation, many families have “cut back” on their spending. May I suggest to you that this can be a good thing! We can focus so much on the newest gadgets, clothes, etc., that we fail to see the true blessings of life.

It can be difficult to explain to our children that “money does not grow on trees,” but this holiday season may be a great time to teach your children that “The best things in life are free.” We begin by showing them family is important (Eph.5:22-6:4), giving is better than receiving (Acts 20:35), and how we should be thankful to God for everything (Col.3:16).

Consider what the apostle Paul said to the church at Thessalonica at the close of his epistle to them: "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV). You mean we should always be joyful, pray constantly, and give thanks no matter what situation we may find ourselves in? Yes!!!
Remember, true love cannot be bought, and true happiness cannot be found in material things. It is only in Christ that true blessings are found (Eph.1:3). As Christians, we must realize the true blessings of life. While we may have to “do without” from time to time, we will always have Jesus; He promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Heb.13:5).
Tis the season to be thankful!

- Shane Robinson, preaches for the Lake Hills church of Christ in Chattanooga, TN. He may be contacted at or through their website at

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Real Santa Claus

By Travis L. Quertermous

On Christmas Eve, according to Christmas tradition, Santa Claus comes down our chimneys to leave presents for all the good little boys and girls. What many people are not aware of is that the legend of Santa Claus evolved from a real-life Christian named Nicholas.

Nicholas was born to wealthy Christian parents in the ancient Greek city of Myra in the late third century A.D. His parents died while he was a child, but they had raised him to be a devout Christian. Nicholas spent the rest of his life and the wealth he had inherited taking care of the poor and needy, especially the children, often enduring terrible persecution from the Roman authorities. Nicholas was appointed a bishop in the church at Myra and the Roman Catholic Church later canonized him as “St. Nicholas,” Many myths about Nicholas grew up around him after his death so that the historical children’s gift-giver “St. Nicholas” ultimately evolved into the legendary Santa Claus.

Nicholas epitomized the Bible’s teaching on giving. For example, the apostle Paul once said, “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). Let us remember that the holiday season is about giving, not getting; about generosity, not greediness; and that it is not limited to Christmastime.

- Travis L. Quertermous preaches for the church of Christ in Dexter, MO. He may be contacted at or through the church’s website:

Monday, December 7, 2009

What Do You Tell Your Children?

By Norman and Ann Bales

Have you ever thought about the implications of what you tell your children? Careless words, thoughtless remarks, biased opinions, harsh criticisms, and cynical statements all have the potential to seriously damage a child’s future well being.

On the other hand, words of encouragement, expressions of support, praise for a job well done, and other forms of positive reinforcement have the potential of enhancing a child’s development.

Think about some of the things parents say to their children:
  • “You’re no good.”
  • “You’re mean—bad to the bone.”
  • “You’re never going to amount to anything.”
  • “You’re dumb.”
  • “You never do anything right.”
If children hear those kinds of messages repeatedly, they probably will end up believing what they hear. Those ideas are internalized, and negative behavior patterns follow.

On the other hand, think about some of the things children hear when they grow up with positive reinforcement:
  • “You’re a blessing from God.”
  • “You’re a good boy (or girl).”
  • “You’re going to do something great some day.”
  • “You’re learning.”
  • “It didn’t turn out right this time; you’ll get it next time.”

Parents underrate the power of their words. They think little Johnny will let carelessly spoken words pass from his hearing without any long-term effect. One put-down probably doesn’t cause a great deal of damage; but if that becomes a pattern, Johnny may decide that he’s hopelessly ensnared in a psychological trap that wipes out any opportunity for personal achievement. Some children feel so worthless they later turn to drugs, illicit sex, and criminal behavior.

Parents who understand the power of words, know their children are going to grow up in a negative world. They also know that it takes several positive reinforcement statements to counteract the negative impact of just one verbal slam. If little Mary grows up believing that she is loveable and capable, She has a much better chance of becoming a happy and productive member of society.. F. Scott Fitzgerald was right on target when he said, “You can stroke people with words.”

- Norman and Ann Bales, All About Families; via The Family Friend, a monthly newsletter published by the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY. It is an excellent resource for articles relating to the family. To learn more consult the congregation's website: