Did You Remember To Say ‘Thank You’?
By Paul R. Blake
Sound familiar? It does to me. I remember hearing my parents asking me if I remembered to say thank you to those who had given me something or who had done something for me. My folks were right to ask, for often children do forget to express gratitude and need to be taught to do so. Both courtesy and honor demand that we acknowledge the gift and the giver.
Do adults need to be taught to say thank you? Perhaps. I remember the Vietnam War and the impact it had on the church where I grew up. I was only in my early teens when it came to an end, but I do recall hearing brethren pray at every service, “Lord, please bring the Vietnam conflict to an end so that our boys can come home.” Eventually, our troops withdrew from South Vietnam and returned to the States. For months afterward, I listened for someone at services to say ‘Thank you’ to God for ending the war, but no one did except for one young man. We forgot to thank God for the very thing we had been asking for ten years.
We ask God to heal the sick. Do we thank Him when they returned to services hale and whole? We ask God to be with those who are undergoing tests for cancer and other serious ailments. Do we thank Him when a good report came back? We ask God to help restore the wayward and fallen. Do we thank Him when they have repented and confessed their sins? How many things have we asked of God? We ask for safe journeys, for comfort when in sorrow, for protection through the night, for peace in this land, for guidance in great decisions. Have we in earnest, humble gratitude said, “Oh Lord, thank you for…” and listed those blessings that we requested earlier?
We have asked God for strength and growth here at TR when we lost so many to death, loss of jobs, and a congregation that began in eastern Pittsburgh. Have we thanked the Almighty for giving us the new members who now worship with us adding their strength to ours?
We have pleaded with God to protect us from the immoral plans of various Presidential administrations to limit our religious freedom and to stop their efforts to facilitate further decay in this nation. Have we thanked God that we are still free to worship and serve the Lord? Have we expressed gratitude that the common people still have moral qualities?
We ask God daily to help us to remain faithful. Have we said, “Thank you, Loving Father, for helping us this day. By Thy hand, we are strong in a world of weakness; with Thy power, we will rejoice one day in heaven.” Don’t forget to say ‘thank you’ to God.
“Be anxious in nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
To some people, Christianity is little more than ritualism, pageantry, pomp, and ceremony. Such was the attitude of the Pharisees concerning the religion established by the law of Moses. For them, ritualism, ceremony, pageantry and show were everything; character and conduct were nothing. Christianity is not pageantry, pomp, ritualism and ceremony. You may be sure that the people who parade their Christianity by pageantry and pomp, and by wearing the gorgeous robes and sparkling jewelry have failed completely to understand what Christianity is.
• Christianity is right living in the various relationships of life.
• In the home, Christianity is love, kindness, and the training of children in the way they should go.
• In business, Christianity is diligence, honesty and fairness.
• In society, Christianity is courtesy and helpfulness.
• In the church, Christianity is faithfulness, humility, love, soberness, righteousness and godliness.
• Toward God Christianity is reverence and obedience.
• Toward the poor, Christianity is helpfulness.
• Concerning self, Christianity is glorifying God with the body and spirit. (Basil D. Shilling)
Recipe for Success
Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it.
Plan for more than you can do, then do it.
Point your arrow at a star, Take your aim, and there you are.
Arrange more time than you can spare, then spare it.
Take on more than you can bear, then bear it.
Plan your castle in the air, then build a ship to take you there.
(Basil D. Shilling, Briefs For Church Bulletins)
An Alarming Death Notice
We are sorry to announce the passing of Mr. Midweek Services. He died recently at the Neglected Church on Ho Hum Avenue. Born many years ago, he was once strong and healthy. He grew as he was fed on zeal and Bible study. His influence was felt worldwide, and he has rightly been considered as the most influential member of the Church’s family. However, in recent years Mr. Midweek Services had been in failing health, wasting away until rendered helpless by stiffness of the knee, cooling of the heart, and a lack of spiritual sensitivity. He was quoted as having whispered some last words about the absence of his loved ones.
We have also been informed that Midweek’s wife, Mrs. Sunday Evening Services, has just been admitted to the local hospital. Preliminary tests by Dr. I. M. Unconcerned reveal that the same disease that struck her husband down has now infected her, and has greatly diminished her strength. At this point her disease also appears to be terminal. Her recovery depends upon care and concern. (Author Unknown)
By Rick Duggin
How often do you hear someone trying to salvage an unscriptural position by quoting Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged”? If nominal Bible students know any passage, it is this one. This verse, like all other scripture, is true, but it is much misunderstood. Many assume all judgment must be left with God… under no circumstances may a man judge anyone for anything. What is wrong with this usual view of the passage?
1. It is a self-defeating position. One who judges another as wrong because he judges another, does exactly what he condemns. He is like the man who argues that it is wrong to argue.
2. It would negate our judgment by God. If the first part of Matt. 7:1 is absolute (under no circumstances may we judge), why is the second part not absolute (we will never be judged)?
3. It contradicts other passages. “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Never assume a position in one passage that contradicts another.
4. It would prevent us from following the example of Christ and His apostles. Matthew 6:2-18 teaches us to judge others.
5. It contradicts the context. Carefully read verses 5,6,15-20 to see if we can obey these things without forming judgments.
6. It would permit and encourage excesses in evil and false doctrine. We could not correct our children, our friends, our society, or our brethren for any kind of sin. 1 Corinthians 5 shows what Paul thought of this view; how do you judge it?