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Friday, November 23, 2018


According to Moses [Psalms 90] this scribe has just under ten years to "get it all together." I’ve now passed my “three score and ten,” and tacked one year on in addition. “Three score and ten” is now in the rearview mirror and “fourscore” is in view on the not-too-distant horizon. Yep! I think it’s about time to “get it all together.” But then, sometimes I think it is an exercise in futility. Someone once lamented that when they finally got it all together, they forgot where they put it. 

 I live in a very small corner of this terrestrial globe. We moved here a little over a year ago, and occasionally when I tell people I live in Olive Branch, Mississippi, I get the typical response: “Where?” I sometimes wonder if my two cents worth that I put into this weekly mail out really makes that much of an impact on anyone or anything outside this small part of the world in which I live.  And about the time I think about hanging up my pen, something appears in the news that I simply cannot ignore. Maybe by God's divine providence the few words that I occasionally share with my readers will make a difference.

 Forty years ago this baby boomer generation thought they had all the time in the world. So we marched on Washington, participated in week long "sit-ins," picketed our government's presence in Viet Nam, and decided that we were going to make our mark on the world with a "new generation" of free thinkers and liberal philosophers. Many a prodigal made the trek to Canada and/or California where they clouded their brain with LSD and marijuana, waited out the "war," and then returned to their home states to run for congress or some other political office. One would think these "hippies" and "flower children" from the drug crazed streets of San Francisco would have learned to be a little more sensible in their later years, but I am prone to think they inhaled deeply on some weed that one could not purchase at your local convenient store. 

 No doubt our parents and grandparents observed this “untoward generation” from afar and asked, “What is this world coming to?”  It would appear that the baby boomers are now asking the same question.  Sometimes I feel sort of like the old Quaker who said to his neighbor, “I think the whole world is going crazy except it be thee or me; and I have my doubts about thee.” 

As Al Gore grows older, and noticeably chubbier, he is still the poster boy for the environmental movement that is pushing for government legislation that will “save our planet.” One dedicated disciple of Gore recently tweeted that if we do not act now, life as we know it will cease by the year 2030 (Wow! Its closer than I realized!). So, in order to save the planet, these environmental whackos want to limit how many miles you can drive in a day, restrict the size of the house you can own, and somehow keep tally on how many squares of toilet paper you use at any one time [really! Some are suggesting a maximum of two squares per…well, you know!].  Global warming has become the catalyst for government control. What confuses me is, “What ever happened to the ice age?”  While we should be good stewards of what God has given us, it seems that some are over-reacting to the warming trend of this world. If it is indeed warming, it has yet to be proven that human beings are the cause of it.  In my estimation, the "mechanism" that is fueling the liberal power grab today is bundled up in the imaginary threat of climate change. We have seen a lot of "nutty" philosophies come down the pike, but this one, without doubt, has to rank among the top ten. As I read such sophisticated silliness, it seems to me that this whole environmental movement, along with Green Peace, PETA, and other organizations that flaunt human wisdom, is an underhanded effort to again de-emphasize human life, and elevate animals, trees, and west Texas cactus plants to that of humanity. All of this under the guise that we need to do something to ‘save the planet.’

 This scribe does not think that Washington, the environmentalists, or any other liberal element is going to save this planet. Nor do I believe we are in danger of the ice caps melting, the climate overheating, or the oil in Arabia running out.  I am not overly concerned about how high the price of gas will get, whether or not Hillary Clinton is going to make yet another run for President, or if I will have enough money to pay next month’s electric bill. And though I may find myself asking from time to time, “What is this world coming to?” – I will be content to rest upon God’s promise that He will take care of me.  As someone has noted, “I’m not concerned about what the world is coming to, as I am encouraged by Who has come to the world!”

By Tom Wacaster



Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Robert Whisenant. Whisenant

Mystery Solved!


A house caught fire on Thursday morning, November 15, in Wilmer, Alabama.  Five people and a baby were inside the home when it caught fire.  All of them were able to get out except one: the homeowner’s step-father; he was trapped in one of the rooms.


An unidentified man – a “mystery man” – stopped to help.  He discovered that the man was trapped inside the burning home.  He went in to get him out.  He was able to pull him out safely.  He put the injured man in his own jeep and wrapped some tears in his skin until the ambulance arrived.  When the injured man was safe in the care of ambulance workers, the mystery man left.


The family was incredibly thankful for their hero, but they were saddened because they did not know his identity.


WKRG News 5 investigated and found the mystery man.  His name is Robert Whisenant.  Whisenant, who has worked with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Fire for 10 years, was on his way to take a paramedic test when he saw the house on fire.  When he discovered that there was still someone inside the home, he went in to find him “without a second thought,” he said.  “You couldn't see even crawling on the floor.  I wasn't able to see him.  I was able to yell for him.  He started yelling, so that's how I was able to locate him.”


Whisenant resists being called a hero.  “No, I don't view myself as a hero,” he said.  “I just [did] something that needed to be done.  I've got the training, so I was doing what I was trained to do.”


So, the nameless Good Samaritan – the mystery man – has been identified, and the family that he helped is extremely thankful for him.


Behold, I tell you another mystery...


Because of our sins, each of us is in grave danger.  We are trapped and unable to free ourselves and in that state, we are destined to die.


The “mystery” is that there is good news that each and every one of us can be saved from our sins and share the spiritual blessings that God desires for us (see Ephesians 3:1-12).


Someone came to our rescue!  In order to rescue us, He had to give His life.  Our Rescuer willingly laid down His life so that we might live.


His name is Jesus; He is the sinless Son of God.  Yet, because He loved us so much, He gave His life on the cross to pay the price for our sins and rescue us from eternal destruction.  “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).


God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).


Thankfully, the “mystery” has been solved: Jesus Christ is the Savior.  He will save those who trust and obey Him.


Won’t YOU?


- David A. Sargent


* Information gleaned from “Mysterious hero who saved man from Wilmer house fire revealed” by Dana Winter,, November 15, 2018


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Is Capital Punishment wrong?

New Testament Teaching on Capital Punishment

    The nation of Israel was something like a theocracy. There was a much closer connection between civic laws and religious laws for Israel in the Law of Moses. Christianity is obviously not a “nation” like Israel was. Christianity is a spiritual nation that transcends civic laws as Christians are now found in nations all over the world. But, we live under civil laws.

    God largely does not regulate the types of laws that a nation would put into place to govern its citizens. God has left the power of capital punishment in the lands of the civil government, the law of a society (Rom 13:1-6). Paul says that the governing authorities do not “bear the sword for nothing” (Rom. 13:4). Clearly the reference here is to capital punishment. Civil governments have the God-given right to implement capital punishment. God does not tell them for what crimes they might do that but He allows them to do that.

    The question now arises whether a Christian can do so as well. Our government allows us to defend our homes, even if it means taking the life of the intruder. Our founding fathers wrote that right into the Bill of Rights, a set of rights that our founding fathers simply did not want to leave to the whims of future generations. I know there are many people, including the writers of my “beloved” TV show, MacGyver, who believe the 2nd amendment was intended for state governments, not for private citizens. But, that ignores the context when the amendment was written and it ignores what our Supreme Court has consistently and undeniably ruled in the 229 years of our constitutional republic.

    God gives humans the right (cf Exo. 22:2) to take the life of an intruder and not be guilty of sin. There’s every reason to believe that that moral principle is still valid today, especially in light of the fact that our own government also gives us the right to take the life of an intruder under certain circumstances.

    The church does not have the right to take people’s lives if they sin against God. God has given the church different rules that govern us disciplining ourselves. Our family does not have the right to discipline unruly members of our church. There are different rules in the family. But when it comes to the civil government and even Christians serving in and for the civil government, they have the right under the laws of our society to take the life of evil doers, based on those civil laws. 

    In other words, it is consistent with the nature of God and the law of Moses for Christians to serve in capacities, like the military and our local police force, that might put them in a position of taking the life of another, if they are working within the laws of our society.

    But there are two major objections which we will deal with next…

Answers to Two Objections to Christians Taking the Life of Another

    There are two notable objections to this idea that we need to consider before we close our study.

    1. “The sermon on the mount commands us to ‘turn the other cheek.’” 

    Let me point out (#1) that there is no command or principle in the NT that is only for Christians. In other words, all of Christ’s law, from Matt to Rev, is over all of mankind. Christians are obligated to live by the sermon on the mount and non-Christians are obligated to live by the sermon on the mount.

    (#2) The sermon on the mount is intended for individuals, not societies. The “beatitudes” are speaking about individual behavior. The verses where Jesus sets His teaching in contrast to the law of Moses, all deal with actions on the part of individuals (cf. Matt. 5:39). Jesus is talking about us as individuals. He is not limiting the response of nations to respond to an evil man like Adolf Hitler.

    Can anyone, who knows the Bible, honestly say that when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, that Christians should have told the Czechs: “We’re sorry. You need to turn the other cheek.” When Hitler invaded France, Christians should have told the French: “We’re sorry. You need to turn the other cheek.” When Hitler bombed Great Britain, killing innocent women and children, should Christians have told them: “We’re sorry. You need to turn the other cheek!” Absolutely not! Jesus did not intend for the Sermon the Mount to be a green light for good people to let evil people run the world!

    2. “Jesus was a pacifist. Therefore, Christians must be pacifist.” 

    (#1) Jesus was not a pacifist. He was God in the flesh and, as God, He was as much involved in killing those thousands of disobedient people in the OT as God the Father was. As the author of the law of Moses, Jesus was just as much involved in commanding Israel to kill others, under certain conditions, as God the Father was. No. Jesus was not a pacifist.

    (#2) The whole life of Jesus was centered around one purpose: dying for the sins of mankind. The question of “pacifism,” as we are discussing it, did not come up in the life of Jesus. When a centurion (Matt 8; Acts 10) enters the picture, he is never called to drop his sword (cf. Luke 3:14).

    (#3) Just because Jesus did not have to kill someone intruding into His house doesn’t mean we have no right to do so.

    (#4) Jesus was dealing with duly-constituted human governments. The Sanhedrin, Pontius Pilate, who condemned Jesus to death, were the governments at that time. Jesus submitted to His government as He requires us to do. Jesus was not an anarchist (Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:1-7).

    Here’s the “long and short” of the discussion. God is love. But God killed people. Those two actions are not mutually exclusive. God commanded Israel to “love their neighbor” and to kill certain individuals under certain circumstances. It is entirely possible for us to do the same.

Paul Holland

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Three Kinds of Christians

There are three kinds of Christians in any local congregation. Which kind are you?

1) There are those Christians you can always count on. When there is work to be done, when a volunteer is needed, when a need must be met, you can depend on these folks to step forward. They carry their own weight, and they help others carry theirs, too (Gal. 6:2,5). There is never a doubt about their commitment or dedication. Their obvious zeal serves as a positive source of encouragement to others. You just never are left to wonder where they stand - because they demonstrate their faith in every way. These Christians serve as the "core" of any faithful congregation. Without them, important work would never get done - crucial matters would be left unattended - the church simply would not do well. Thank God for all such brethren. We should all strive to be one of these!

2) There are some other Christians in the church that are absolutely "out of it." They have little if any connection to the real work of the local congregation. They never are around if there is work to be done, and they simply DO NOT volunteer to help with the on-going efforts of the group. It is even impossible to count on these folks to attend the services regularly. Almost anything can serve as an excuse for them to miss the assemblies. And, if they don't even assemble faithfully, we wonder if they are really doing anything in service to the Lord.

3) There is yet another group that is in evidence in the local church. These are the ones who are "riding the fence." They want to give the impression that they are faithful and involved, but in reality their lives are full of compromise. They vocally claim allegiance to Christ, but they can't be counted on to consistently put the kingdom first.

Our Lord described these three kinds of Christians as "hot," "cold," and "lukewarm" (Rev. 3:15,16). Which term describes YOU?

- by Greg Gwin


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Wednesday, November 7, 2018


In his article, "Why Am I Angrier than I Use to Be?" [Leadership Journal (Summer 2000), pg. 79-80]
author and church minister Ed Rowell writes:

"When I was young, a neighboring family came down with a devastating illness. Several of the
children died, and the rest suffered permanent brain damage. What investigators discovered was that
the father had found a truckload of discarded seed corn and fed it to the family hogs. The corn
(not intended for animal feed) had been treated with something so bugs wouldn't eat it before it
germinated. The hogs ate it, seemingly with no ill effects.

But when the family hogs became the family breakfast, the family was poisoned. It seems that many
substances - pesticides and heavy metals like lead and mercury - do not pass through the digestive
system, but remain in the body, always. In tiny doses, the effects are minimal. But over time, the
effects are horrible.

That's what happens to many of us. Every day we ingest minute amounts of conflict and disrespect.
No big deal, we think. Just blow it off. But we don't. Instead it gets buried in our liver and 20
years later, we go ballistic over some kid skateboarding in the parking lot and wonder, 'Where did
that come from?'" *

Conflict. The very word makes us uncomfortable. It isn't pleasant. We'd rather not have to deal
with it.

But it's a reality. We cannot avoid it. We will encounter it. The question is: how are we going
to handle it?

The core of conflict is sin. Sin is the root cause of conflict in the most important relationship
of all: our relationship with God. Sin separates us from God and puts us on the path to destruction
(Isaiah 59:1-2; Matthew 7:13-14).

But God loves us so much that He took the initiative to reconnect with us. Although He was the
Offended One, He gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our - the offenders' - sins. "He
Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for
righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed" (1 Peter 2:24 NIV).

God will forgive and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts
16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans
10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will
continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).

Because of sin, each of us is in conflict with God. "For all have sinned and fall short of the
glory of God" (Romans 3:23). But God paid the price for our redemption through the death of His Son
on the cross (Ephesians 1:7). Through Jesus, we can be reconciled to God, even though we don't
deserve it. Through Christ, the conflict is resolved.

We also learn from Christ how to resolve conflict with others. He teaches us that it will require
much love (John 3:16), taking the initiative (Matthew 5:23-24; 18:15), and extending forgiveness
(Ephesians 4:32).

Won't YOU accept God's offer of salvation and eternal life so that you aren't separated from Him
anymore? Won't YOU share the conflict-ending ways of Christ with others?

-- David A. Sargent

* From, More Perfect Illustrations, [Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers,
2003], pg. 20

Friday, November 2, 2018

We Reap what we Sow - Sooner or Later


There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. Proverbs 14:12


If you want to live forever, trust God and His word, and  obey. Doing your own thing is a one-way dead end.


“Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4

The New Testament has at least one Scripture that puts both options together:


Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation – but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you

live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will

live. Romans 8:12-13


Jesus put it this way:


“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14


And the apostle Paul wrote this:


Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. Galatians 6:7-8           


It’s not as though God hasn’t given us plenty of warning and plenty of reason to do what is right!


Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honour and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality. Romans 2:4-11


Sooner or later, for better or for worse, it will all come to pass.


And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ … And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:30,46


David Carr

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