January 19, 2023 - I read a story not long ago that comes to us out of the days when passenger train travel was the common and popular method of transportation. It seems there was a little crippled boy who was carrying a basket of candy and fruit, hurrying to the passenger gate of the train station as fast as his crutches would permit him to go. As the passengers rushed through the gate, a fast-moving young business executive accidentally hit the boy’s basket, knocking its contents in every direction. He paused only long enough to severely scold the crippled lad for being in his way. Another young business man, rushing through the depot, saw the young boy’s distress and immediately began picking up the scattered items. After returning all the contents to the basket, he put a dollar bill in the boy’s hand. He smiled at his young friend, patted him on the shoulder and said “Better luck next time!” Then he was on his way.

He was stopped by the question the boy asked him, “Hey mister, are you Jesus?” Turning, the man smiled and said, “No, I’m only one of his followers.”

How different this old world would be if we all would speak and act so that others could see Jesus living in us.

It’s something to think about... tbp

Join Us for Worship this coming Lord’s Day at Center Church of Christ or online at www.centerchurchofchrist.com

January 16, 2023 - Good Morning! It’s Monday, January 16.

On my birthday last year, I took a road trip to Washington D.C. I visited the Martin Luther King Memorial. It’s a quiet place, separated from the other memorials by a grove of trees. It’s dominated by a huge statue of Dr. King, but all around are his words. Here are some of my favorite MLK quotes on this MLK Day.

  • "The time is always right to do what’s right."
  • "Faith is taking the first step, even when you can’t see the whole staircase."
  • "Returning hate for hate only multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars."
  • "We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now."
  • "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
  • "Out of the mountain of despair - a stone of hope."
  • "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
  • "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

Meet you back here tomorrow,
Bro. David

January 12, 2023 - Some years ago, it was in the 1950’s there was a country music show on television called “Jones Junction.” It was broadcast out of Shreveport on KSLA and later on KTBS. They always closed the program with the same song. While I do not remember all of the words, I do remember it said, “Let a smile be your umbrella on a rainy, rainy, day.” Perhaps that is similar to what Paul had in mind when he wrote “Rejoice evermore” in I Thessalonians 5:16.

Of all people on the earth, Christians have greater reason for happiness than anyone else. Christians are promised the more abundant life here upon the earth and everlasting life in eternity. Shouldn’t that be a cause for happiness? If the Christian life is the happy life that it is pictured to be, then as Christians we have the obligation of showing the world that we are happy.

Why not wear a smile? Why not let a smile be your umbrella? If you are a Christian then your face should show your happiness by having a smile to greet those you meet. A smile is a token of friendliness because it denotes a pleasing personality. Wear a smile instead of a frown and show the joys of the Christian life to those around you.

It’s something to think about... tbp

Join Us for Worship this coming Lord’s Day at Center Church of Christ or online at www.centerchurchofchrist.com

January 9, 2023 - Starting Sunday, January 15th, Jackson Baptist Church will revert back to our original times for Sunday School and the Morning Worship Service. Sunday School will begin at 10:00am and Sunday Morning Worship service will begin at 11:00am. Hope everyone can join us at our new times!

January 9, 2023 - Good Morning! It’s Monday, January 9.

On January 9, 2007, the boss of Apple, Steve Jobs, presented a new product to the world. He called it the IPhone. Since that day, over 2 billion of these “smart” phones have been sold. 120 million Americans have one - do you?

I stubbornly held onto my old “flip” phone until a year ago, when my daughters put their foot down and insisted that their mother and I MUST get a smart phone. 87% of teenagers have one - so it has to be the right choice! Truth be told, I do enjoy my new phone - I used it to find the facts found in this morning's devotional.

Most of my church members use their smart phones as their primary Bible. I’m still old school with that, though. For me, there’s something comforting about holding my Bible in my hands, turning the pages, seeing the notes I’ve made from sermons and studies from the past. But, in the future, I may change my Bible reading habits. Who knows? You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

How you read the Word isn’t really important, after all. The question is - How much do you read the Word? I encourage you to make a new year’s resolution to spend more time reading, studying, and meditating on His Word.

Romans 15:4 - Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Meet you back here tomorrow,
Bro. David

Tim PerkinsJanuary 5, 2023 - In our day and time, we have become obsessed with the consumer mentality. To be sure, it has permeated every aspect of our lives. We look for a restaurant with the best price, menu, atmosphere and location. We shop for clothes at a store that carries our size, has our taste in clothes and the best sales.

Sadly, many take this same attitude with them when it comes to church. To be sure, we call it “church shopping”.

If we have small children, we look for a church with a great program for children. If we have teenagers, we look for a church with an active youth program. If we don’t have children, we look for a church that doesn’t have a “bunch of noisy kids” bothering us.

We want the music enthusiastic but not too loud, t he preacher to be youthful but not too young and relevant but not “trendy”. Most of all, he needs to deliver a life changing message in less than 20 minutes.

And know this, if anything stops meeting our expectations, we are off “church shopping” again.

Friends, the church was never intended to serve the consumer mentality. You see, the church is not about serving us or meeting our “felt needs”. The church is about serving God and others. In the church, we are to be more focused on seeking the desperately lost rather than meeting the felt needs of the comfortably saved.

It’s something to think about... tbp

Join Us for Worship this coming Lord’s Day at Center Church of Christ or online www.centerchurchofchrist.com

January 5, 2023 - Good Morning! It's Thursday, January 5.

The Christmas holidays are over, but the biggest part of Texas winter is still to come. Texas winters are unpredictable. You're never sure what you're gonna get. It could be three months of mild weather, with no hard freezes, or it could include a week like we endured two winters ago, with ice and snow and temps in the single digits. You just never know about a Texas winter.

Texas summers, on the other hand, are entirely predictable. You can bet the farm that it's gonna be . . . HOT.  The only question is how hot - how many triple digit days there will be. I grew up in Houston where it's not just hot during the summer, it's sticky! If you did any kind of work outside you came in drenched in sweat. And the first thing you'd want to do is to shed those dirty, grimy clothes, jump in the shower, and get clean! Well, here's where my scenario takes a turn. What if, after taking that cool, cleansing shower - you put back on those old dirty, grimy, sweaty clothes. Ridiculous, you say! No one would do something like that.  

Well, God knows that, spiritually speaking, we are tempted to do just that. He offers us a cleansing from the stain of our sin. His grace gives us a refreshing new start. And, then, so often, we turn back and put on those dirty, old clothes. Clothes of envy and resentment and bitterness. Clothes of gossip and anger and shame. Ridiculous, right? But we have all been guilty of doing that very thing.

We find these words in Ephesians 4 - "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

Good words for a new year.

Meet you back here tomorrow,

Bro. David

January 2, 2023 - Good Morning! It’s Monday, January 2.

Our Daily Devotions have been on a two-week holiday break. Hope you and yours had a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! This morning we begin the fourth year of sending out these little thoughts. Thank you to all our email readers and to those who follow the devotions on Shelby County Today and Face Book. I appreciate each one of you and pray that our daily connections will be a blessing to you in 2023.

On January 2, 1962, four scruffy looking musicians arrived at a recording studio. They were there for an audition and were hoping to get their first record deal. The audition ended with no comment from the record company executive. Several weeks passed with no word. Finally, the group's manager called the studio and received a response from the executive, a response that has become the most infamous, short-sighted, wrong-headed evaluation in music history. He told the manager, "your boys will never make it in show business!"

The Beatles got their record deal later that year from another company, recorded a hit song, and never looked back. They became the most successful group in entertainment history, sold over 600 million records, and influenced every popular musician who came after them. The "boys" did ok in show business after all. And that record executive had to live the rest of his life with the knowledge that the future of music was playing in his studio . . . and he didn't recognize it.

In Isaiah 43:19, God says, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” As I read that familiar passage at the start of a new year, it is a reminder that God wants to do a new work in my life, in my ministry, in my church. But I am also reminded that I have a part to play as well. My part is to see what God is doing, perceive it, recognize it. And then move in the direction that He is going. I have to follow Him.

Thoughts for a new year.

Meet you back here tomorrow,
Bro. David

Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? Amos 3:3

January 2, 2023 - Dr. H. D. Bruce was the President of The East Baptist University where I graduated in 1958. We were required to attend Chapel every morning, and that meant hearing Dr. Bruce’s welcome each semester. I heard it for four years and know it by heart. It was his advice to the College’s ministerial students, most of them still single. He began: “Men, get you a good wife because no man goes any further than a good woman pushes him. And remember, ‘she aint gonna push where she aint gonna go”. 

Over the years, some of my preacher friends were pushed by a wife who pushed in the wrong direction. “If you still want to be a preacher, you’ll go alone” has been a deadly ultimatum to many. When I was a young feller, I thought the best marriages came when opposites married. But how wrong could I have been? Some think that all they need is union but tying two cats together and hanging them over a wire gives you that. Union is getting together. Unity is getting along together. And a good marriage needs both.

So Dr. Bruce was right.

December 30, 2022 - St. John Baptist Church Africa Community is hosting a 2022 Watch Night Service on Saturday, December 31 at 10pm with Pastor Winston Kibbles.