Author: Writing Staff

Lads to Leaders – Let the little children come

SOUTH TEXAS — The Minister for the North Jefferson church of Christ in Mt. Pleasant recently shared this photo of

Getting ready for song leading at North Jefferson and at Lads 2 Leaders.

some trainees on social media. Young people throughout the United States prepare annually for the Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes convention. It is scheduled for the weekend of March 30-April 1 in most locations this year as we go to press.

This year’s theme comes from I Corinthians: “In Remembrance of Me (11:24-25). Minister J.J. Hendrix posted the photo, saying: “On Wednesday nights we let our boys lead singing before the opening prayer. We have a pew full! They are always excited and are looking forward to Lads 2 Leaders coming up next week!”
The organization offers both year-round and convention programs to achieve this outlook: “You don’t HAVE to teach them to be leaders in the church. Their experience in L2L makes them WANT to be.” The church, her families and the students focus on the Bible, service, leadership and/or curriculum in the ongoing activities. (more…)

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Focal Point uplift coming soon

The sessions fill quickly at Focal Point each year.

SAN MARCOS – Regarding the annual preacher’s workshop here, Minister Wayne Jones says, “God has entrusted us with a great work, and our prayer is that Focal Point will be of service to those who are fulfilling that work.” The University church of Christ event goes from May 5-10 this year and is free of charge.
Dwayne Butler of the Blackwater Macedonia church of Christ in Jasper, Ala., posted this message from home after last year’s session.
“My family and I just pulled into our driveway after the long trip home from San Marcos. I wanted to take a few minutes to praise your wonderful church family. I don’t know that I have ever seen people more hospitable. Also, when it comes to service, the University congregation stands behind no one. (more…)

Palmer takes helm at Sunny Glen

The Palmer family from left, Josiah, Chase, Malachi, Elizabeth, Joy and Ezra.

SAN BENITO — According to Wayne Lowry, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Sunny Glen Children’s Home, Chase Palmer has been selected to serve as the 15th Executive Director effective Feb. 8. Jay Williams, who dedicated 19 years to the Home in that role, will continue providing guidance as Director Emeritus.
Said Palmer, “My goal is that Sunny Glen continues to be a place of hope and refuge for children and families of the Rio Grande Valley. Each child is a gift from God. We desire to meet each one’s physical, emotional, and, most important, spiritual needs, holistically. This approach begins by helping them to grow in their knowledge of God through His Word and by letting them experience the love of Christ in the care that we provide.”

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Youth day offers help to lighten the load

KERRVILLE — The backpack filled with schoolbooks is often not the only hefty burden that a young person bears. Students in the 6-12th grades and their families are invited to come to the Riverside church of Christ’s first youth day on Saturday, April 28 from 9 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. to explore resources for adjusting the load to the Lord’s glory.
There is no charge for “The Things We Carry” youth day and lunch will be served. The church meets at 625 Harper Road here.
Said Raoul Ferris, Riverside youth minister, “The theme for this day emerged after my working closely with students and athletes over the years and seeing the burdens they carry behind the game faces they wear. Please join us in the beautiful hill country of Kerrville for a youth day focused on unpacking the burdens of this world and helping the young people work their way toward repacking their bags, carrying a lighter load and being clothed differently.” (more…)

Caught red-handed: NLBM, doing good

CORPUS CHRISTI – Usually, attention from a Texas criminal justice agency alarms people. But when Buck Griffith, President of New Life Behavior Ministries here, heard from the state recently, he didn’t panic and ask, “Who ratted me out??!!”
In a phone call and a letter from the Texas Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ), Chairman Dale Wainwright notified NLBM about some upcoming recognition set for Austin on Friday, April 20. To those who partner with the ministry, Griffith says, “You share in this good news because you play a prominent role in making a difference through your work, prayers, financial support and constant encouragement.” (more…)

Guest Editorial: The Collage

One Christmas our adult daughter gave me a collage she had created. She said it was a patchwork of my life from her perspective.
I saw things I love: hummingbirds, butterflies, and leafy trees with trunks too huge to wrap my arms around. I saw the imprint of her and her brother’s hands in the cement we poured one year.

A pineapple represented a hospitality which translated to many meals for her and her brother’s friends, who now reminisce about their favorites when they see me. “Godlight,” a scene of the sky, pictured rays of sunshine that peeked out from a cloud and swept down to us. And finally, there in the bottom corner of the collage, I saw these five typed words: “Sighs too deep for words.”

Oh my, what a tell. This was the essence of what I wanted my daughter to learn from me, and I was glad!
She was referring to Romans 8:26. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.”

We had talked about this verse during low times in her life. Life is hard. Tears. Changes. Disappointments. Tragedies. Inexplicable loss. While we are here on this earth, we try to help our children through these events. We try to cushion the hurt, explain the unexplainable, and even attempt to make it go away.
But what happens when we are gone? Who do they lean on then? When I saw those five words, I knew our daughter would be just fine. And our son. We might be gone, but God will be there, and the Spirit will be there to help them.

They have learned through seeing lives that show how God can be counted on to love us no matter the circumstances. They have seen that sometimes words just don’t say it. Sadness or confusion cannot be expressed. But there He is – the Holy Spirit – helping in our weakness and inability to speak, interceding for us with sighs too deep for words so that what is inexpressible in our hearts still gets through to God.

Combine that with the knowledge that Jesus came to earth and experienced a physical life that brought Him to His knees to seek help from His Father, and we have all that we need to get through our lives here on earth. In John 14: 15-18, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to us once He was gone. He knew what we needed.
That we are loved and that we are not alone – isn’t that the foundation that we want our children to have? If we have taught our children to trust God and go to Him no matter the circumstance, they will have all they need.

When we have to leave, He remains with them.

McQuien’s Musings: The Greatest Irony

During Easter week, which came rather early this year, people all over the world who adhere to the Christian faith commemorated the crucifixion of Jesus, followed by his resurrection and ascension.
Concerning the Lord’s willing self-sacrifice, the book of Hebrews contains a relevant passage which reads, “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (10:4 NIV). Here the anonymous author of Hebrews was referring to the inadequacy of animal sacrifices to atone for sin, in contrast to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. (more…)

San Pedro takes Bible bowl first

SAN ANTONIO — “The Church of Christ Citywide Singles Ministry’s First Annual Adult Bible Bowl was a success!” said Coordinator Cheryl Anderson. Teams tested over I Cor. 1, 7, and 13 during the Jan. 27 event.
Said Anderson, “Single and married members came together. Congratulations to San Pedro Church of Christ for winning the trophy!
“Dellcrest and Laurel Street did an excellent job as well. We look forward to Bible Bowl next year, Lord willing, so get your team ready!
“We thank God for allowing us to come together and thanks to the leadership of San Pedro for hosting the event.”

Focal Point registration opens

SAN MARCOS – “We are excited about this year’s lineup and scheduled activities!” said Minister and Director of Focal Point, Wayne Jones. The registration page for the annual preacher’s workshop scheduled here at the University church of Christ for May 5-10 recently went live.
The purpose is stated thus: “Focal Point is a workshop aimed at encouraging and strengthening those who preach the gospel and others who have made the work of the church a priority in their lives. Classes are designed to be informative, inspirational and encouraging.
“Every effort has been made to ensure that Focal Point provides biblical insight combined with practical application. Our focus is on Jesus and our aim is to strengthen His church. (more…)

Help! VetNet and Bible give-aways picking up

by Buck Griffith
CORPUS CHRISTI – We rejoice to see increasing responses to our outreach to veterans and the prison Bible distribution. We appreciate your help in getting the word out about New Life Behavior Ministries’ resources to everyone in your circle of influence and your joining us in serving others.
The VetNet program is taking many requests from across the nation for the NLBM curriculum. Military veterans outside of prison and those who serve them ask for our lessons. Most veterans are not incarcerated, but many of those who are inside are requesting materials, too. Many from all branches of our military and their families are suffering. (more…)

GUEST EDITORIAL: Why Did Jesus Teach in Opposites?

by Marsha Dowell

Why did Jesus frequently present opposing ideas like these: “You have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, but I say to you…if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other” (Matt. 5:38-39), and, “You have heard that it was said, love your neighbor and hate your enemy, but I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:43-44)?
Jesus does this quite often. Was He a rebel, trying to change what people usually accept as normal? Trying to stir things up?
His apostles were brought up short by this one: “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9: 35). It is understandable to respond, “This makes no sense!” (more…)

McQuien’s Musings: Luke on Lucre

Among the four Gospels, Luke is the favorite of many. Perhaps one reason is that Luke, having been an educated Gentile physician, is easier for modern readers to identify with than the other three Gospel authors, especially Matthew, who reflected a more traditional Jewish perspective. One of Luke’s themes having special relevance in the 21st century is his emphasis on money and wealth.
Luke sometimes used money and wealth in a positive—or at least neutral—sense. One positive example is the “Good” Samaritan giving money to the innkeeper to take care of the bruised and beaten Jew. Another parable, concerning the lost silver coin that a woman finds, provides a positive application to the kingdom. Even Jesus’ shrewd reply to the spies sent from the chief priests and teachers of the law to question him about paying taxes to Caesar portrays money neutrally: “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (20:25 NIV). (more…)