Social Media & Christians

by William J. Stewart

Communication has changed drastically in my lifetime. When I was a kid, we had a rotary telephone attached to the wall. If you wanted to post a message, you needed an envelop and a stamp. Cords and landlines have been replaced by smartphones that do much more than make calls. Posting a letter in the mail is a rarity today. The mailman is a lot slower than e-mail, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter, etc.. Communication has been drastically affected by technology.

There are some great benefits to social media. It affords the ability to reconnect with people whom we’ve lost contact. Being able to communicate instantly, we are able to pass news along to folks; good news, prayer requests, etc.. With this modern convenience, we can share encouraging words with folks whom we might not otherwise be in touch with. This age of instant communication is wonderful. Continue reading

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What does the Bible say about gambling?

John Hines | via Watching & Waiting (woodlandchurchofchrist.org)

Many turn a blind eye to it. Many see nothing wrong with it. States have legalized it telling us how the money goes to support the schools yet just as quickly as money comes in the front door it leaves through the back and the schools are worse now financially than ever while gambling revenue has done nothing but increase. But rather than appeal to what the common man or the common politician may say, what does the Bible say about gambling? Continue reading

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How Did Jesus View Scripture?

by Sean P. Cavender | via the Bald Knob Builder

It is amazing to hear so many people talk about loving Jesus and how they follow Him, and in the same breath disparage the Bible. It is amazing, but it is no surprise. Denominations denigrate Scripture continually. If it disagrees with them, they claim that times have changed. If it condemns them, they say the writer was just a radical anyway. If an epistle contradicts their doctrine, they say, “Well, Jesus never said that.” Even publishers have gotten into the act, for why else would they put Jesus’ words in red? Is the entire thing not the Word of God?

If we are going to follow the Lord, then we need to use Scripture the same way He did. How did Jesus view it? How did He use it? Continue reading

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Watch Your Abbreviations!

by William J. Stewart

We live in an age where abbreviations are used extensively in informal written communication (texting, social media, etc.), and even to some degree in day to day conversation. Maybe you’ve overheard a teenage girl talking about her BFF, but didn’t know what that meant? That is her “Best Friend Forever.” If you are on Facebook, you’ve likely seen and perhaps used LOL (laughing out loud) or in a chat room, you will often see BRB (be right back). There are a bunch of harmless short forms being used for communication today, though it can be frustrating if you don’t know what they mean. It wasn’t too long ago, I would see SMH or IDK or TTYL and had no clue what people were writing. Online communication has certainly become a language of it’s own at times. Continue reading

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Adversity & Faith

by William J. Stewart

James 1:17 reads,

Every good gift and every perfect  gift Is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

The Lord showers all kinds of blessings on us. When we begin to count our blessings, we see how truly blessed we are. But what about the not so good things, or the bad things that happen in life? Where do they come from? Continue reading

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Laodiceanitis

by Dee Bowman | via southsideonline.org

If that ain’t a word, it oughta to be!

In the letters to the seven churches of Asia, Jesus said to the Laodiceans, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).

It is undoubtedly so that every cause has an effect. I also affirm it to be so that the effect of indifference among the Lord’s people is one of the most effective and devastating of the devil’s devices. Continue reading

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Make A Joyful Noise

by William J. Stewart

Music has been labeled the international language. Rhythm and rhyme are so tangled within the fabric of humanity that George Jellinek, host of the syndicated radio series The Vocal Scene, has commented, “The history of a people is found in its songs.”1 As this is true of nations and tribes throughout the ages, it is equally true of God’s people. After crossing the Red Sea, Moses and Miriam led the Israelites in song (Exodus 15). The unfaithfulness of Israel was revealed generations before it would happen in a song of Moses, and served as a witness against the people (Deuteronomy 31:19-32:44).  Deborah and Barak’s victory in battle gave occasion for  a song (Judges 5:1-31). David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, wrote many songs, addressing a variety of topics. Songs have always been of great importance to God’s people. Continue reading

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The Difference Between Emotion & Emotionalism

by William J. Stewart

Perhaps you’ve heard about it. Maybe you’ve seen it. Possibly you have even experienced it. Cunningly orchestrated music is used to stir the emotions of the crowd; an emotionally charged evangelist spurs them on with repetitive chants; hands and bodies sway to and fro; the atmosphere has been established. As the crowd is further worked into a frenzy, often times, folks will end up rolling about in the aisles, bursting out in uncontrollable laughter, shaking, jumping, and shouting out unintelligible speech. Is this worship that gives glory to God, or merely a display of unbridled emotions? Continue reading

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Is There A Standard For Our Worship?

by William J. Stewart

How shall we decided what should and what should not be a part of our worship? A quick look at the religious world reveals a number of distinct worship practices and customs. Some hold that the activity of worship is not as important as the attitude of worship. Others maintain that activity and attitude are of equal importance. Is there a standard for worship, and if so, what is the standard? Continue reading

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A Difference Between Service and Worship

by William J. Stewart

A growing movement exists in the religious world to broaden the common conception of what worship is. Rather than worship being limited to specific activities, many are embracing the idea that worship is a lifestyle; that every moment of our existence is to be an occasion of worship. Are Christian service and worship synonymous, or is there a distinction to be made? Continue reading

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