God's Minister Doss Camp Meeting 100th Anniversary Meeting History of Snyder Church Inventions The Downward Course of Abraham False Accusation Sister Alpha Slawson J. D Pyron Gilbert Leon Jennings Sister Alpha McCarty Jo Ann Huey Albert A Morris Deacon Chester Coleman Sister Dorothy Baldock Chambers Creek Association Walk With Me Sing Loud His Praises Sideshows...
VOICE OF THE PAST...
By Elder W.W. Fowler
"Wherefore he saith, when he ascended upon high he led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men, and he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.--Eh. 4:8-11-12.
The minister of the gospel has a very solemn and responsible position. It is his duty to teach, instruct, edify and build up God's little children. That God calls men into the ministry by a direct work of His Spirit is abundantly proven by the Scriptures. Paul says that, "No man taketh this honor unto himself save he that is called as was Aaron." No man can just assume to be a minister of the gospel and enter into this great work in the same manner that one enters any other worldly occupation or profession, he must be put into the ministry by divine call.
The minister is supposed to be the servant of the Lord's people and the servant of the church. He has no right or authority to "lord it over God's heritage." But he should abide his calling as a true servant.
He is also called a watchman upon the walls of Zion. He is charged with the obligation of warning God's people against the enemy, and if he fails to do so, and they die in their sins, then their blood is required at his hands, but if he warns them and they die, in their sins, he is clear.
While it is the sacred duty of the watchman to warn God's people, God has never delegated to him the authority to dictate to them in all the many things they are called upon to do. He is no dictator, he is no boss. The church does not belong to him, but he belongs to the church. It is not his business to undertake to regulate the affairs of the church, neither locally or in a general way, but to he subject to the church. He is very important.
Without the minister there would be no church. God perpetuates His Church upon earth by using His ministers as the instruments in His Hands. They are the means; God uses the means but the means do not use God as is taught by some.
The minister should not become puffed up and use his great office to persecute the Lord's people. He should not be guilty of meddling with strife, or of sowing seeds of discord among brethren assuming the authority to pass judgment upon church conditions that do not come under his jurisdiction. It is his solemn duty to feed the Church of God which He has purchased with His own blood. It is his solemn duty to admonish them to let brotherly love continue, to admonish them to watch over each other for good and not for evil.
It is his solemn obligation to preach peace by Jesus Christ, and not meddle strife and division. He should be content with the goodness of God's house and "inquire" for the old paths wherein is the good way and walk therein" that he may find rest in his soul and teach the same thing to God's little children.
"He should not strive but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach." He should be "no brawler, not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he should fall into condemnation of the devil."
His life should be an example to all the flock.
What a solemn responsibility rests upon his shoulders. If he conducts himself as he should, God's people will be drawn together, in love and sweet fellowship. If he fails to do that, strife confusion and division will be the result.
May God help His poor servants that they may "bring none offense to Jew nor Gentile, nor in the Church of the Living God."
May God help His poor and afflicted people that they may have true undershepherds to minister to them so that instead of strife confusion and division, peace and fellowship and union may exist. Banner of Love - July 15, 1941
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TOP RATE PUBLICATION
The Banner continues to be a top rate first class publication and I am grateful for allowing me to be part of the writers, [poems]. I love your articles and Darrene's poetry and everything, every word that every person writes.
Santa Fe, NM
Squaw Creek Primitive Baptist Church of Doss, Texas hosted the camp meeting this year. Until a few years ago, when McMahan Church and Stratton Church offered to rotate the meeting, Doss had hosted the church each year.
I first started attended the camp meeting in Doss in the sixties.
As I walked on the grounds, I felt the same sweet love and fellowship, that always abounds at this meeting. Brother Jack and Sister Paula Baethge, Brother James and Sister Edna Baethge, and Brother Ted Mund were at their post in hosting this meeting.
About twelve ministers were in attendance there, and each one came preaching the same sweet story. The spirit of the Lord was surely felt. We sang out under the tabernacle after and before services. Such beautiful singing. Doss has a beautiful church building, very comfortable for the hot weather we were having.
I stayed in the good home of Brother and Sister Jack Baethge, where their daughter, Lynette Gerdes was also visiting. These folks are very dear to me.
Doss Camp Meeting will always be a warm spot in my heart.
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Early Saturday morning before the fifth Sunday in July, twenty-three of us, including the bus driver, Elder Raymond Kirkpatrick, boarded a chartered bus, hosted by Elder Mike Rodgers, from Lubbock. Eight of us boarded the bus in Lubbock, and we picked up the others in Crosbyton.
It was really a wonderful trip, we sang, laughed and visited. About a two hour trip, it seems that we were there before we realized it. We arrived early for church. Before services started the house was packed and they were bringing out chairs that filled the aisles.
Elders Mark Richards and Mike Rodgers filled the stand Saturday morning. Elder Chuck Sammons gave brief history of the church. After a bountiful lunch, we assembled again for the afternoon service. Elder Howard Jernigan related more history of the church and was followed by Elder Dan Washek, who preached the afternoon sermon. We were required to depart for home after the afternoon services. God has blessed this church the past 100 years. May He continue to have His watchful care over them. It was good to be there.
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Snyder, Scurry County, Texas, August 17, 1895, by the request of the Brethren and sisters, whose names are herein attached.
Deacon J.M.V. Bullock and Elder Wa. Laugh of Bethel Church, Nolan County, Texas met on above named date and proceeded in the organization of the Brethren and sisters into a church.
By electing Elder Wa. Laugh as moderator and Brother J.M.V. Bullock as clerk. After examination of the letters of said Brethren and sisters were duly constituted upon the following articles of Faith and rules of Decorum.
Presbyters Elder Wa.Laugh J.M.V. Bullock, Clerk.
Names and Brethren and Sisters in the organization: G.H. Barnhart, Elizabeth Barnhart, A.B. Woody, T.A. Bean, I.A. Bean, Deacon.
Ministers serving were: 1899, Elder J.F. Richardson; 1905 Elder Wa. Laugh, 1908 Elder W.J. Hull; 1909 Elder W.H.Bodine; 1909 Snyder held West Providence Association; 1913 Elder J.F. Richardson, as joint pastor; Aug. 1914 Elder R.B. Hester; May 1915 Church moved to Snyder; July 1921, Elder W.D. Aldredge; July 1923, Elder John Richardson, Sept. Oct. 1924, J.F.Richardson; Sept. 1928 Elder R.B. Hester; Sept, 1940 Elder J.B. Owens, Feb. 1941, Elder O.C. Floyd, assistant pastor; May 1943 Elder O.C. Floyd as pastor; Sept. 1949, Elder S.J. Ellis; Sept. 1956 Elder Kenneth Martin; Jan. 1957, Elder Jasper Chambers; May 1968 Elder Carl Watson; June 1968, Elder Afton Richards, first Sunday in each month; Jan. 1970, Elder Cleveland Bass, first Sunday; March 1987, Elder Steve Sims, first Sunday; May 1987, Elder Frank Robertson, second Sunday; Dec. 1990, Brother Mike Rodgers, first Sunday; Sept. 1991 Elder Howard Jernigan as pastor; Aug. 1992, Elder Chuck Sammons, first Sunday.
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ENJOY THE GOOD ARTICLES
Am sending $10.00 for renewal of my paper, as I don't want to miss a copy. I enjoy reading the good articles and hearing from friends. Our church is at Elmore City, OK, where we have good meetings and sweet fellowship. Our church is small, but I believe God is blessing our pastor, Elder Jerry Cottrell, whom we all love. He is young in the ministry, but has lots of faith in God.
In Christian Love,
IS REALLY A JOY
Reading Brother Richards' good writing, "The Value of Troubles" is really a joy, in July issue.
It's real encouraging to be reminded that the mixture of things we experience are a part of us learning to come away from the things in this natural world and trusting our Dear Lord to see us through.
May He strengthen you all.
In Dear Hope,
Sister Loretta Lilly
Phil. 1:6 is real encouraging.
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By Elder Hulan Bass
"Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions."
This opening text - Ecc 7:29 - sets forth the premise that God made man upright. That is, Adam was a mature, innocent natural man without any negatives. Upright also indicates that he was a "thinker" or an "intellect." The scriptures obviously asserts this fact - Gen. 1:26. Man is to have dominion over all the other creatures, and also to name them all - Gen. 2:19.
After Adam's fall, then his posterity under the condemnation of the penalty of sin [Total Depravity] began too "invent." Cain killed Abel. Cain's progeny produced Jubal, the father [inventor] of all such as handle the harp and organ - Gen. 4:21 - So on and so forth...
These inventions man sought out were used in the negative for evil. The Scriptures define "inventions" most always as evil or wicked.
Let us examine. Man's mind and thinking is now carnal [afflicted with defect.] Therefore a product can rise no higher than its initiating source. If man thinks evil, then his products will be so also. Also be aware that it was after the fall that man began to seek out inventions. While he was "upright" he walked peacefully with God in the Garden of Eden. Man had everything in perfection, exquisitely beautiful and complete - food, shelter, happiness, even with Eve, his own rib, his help mate. What more could man need? There was no need for inventions.
Gen. 3:l8-19 - Thorne and thistles - weeds, tares, etc., began to grow outside the Garden, where fallen Humanity was now cast. Man must now go to work by the sweat of his face. He must now plant, water, fertilize, fight against insects and weeds. He can still raise a crop of food and produce, but it is hard now. He must work very hard to live. This precipitates inventions. I once read that "necessity was the mother of invention." Adam and his family of descendants began trying, in their carnal logical reasoning to make "living a little easier." Inventions began to come forth, but lo and behold, they were then used sinfully, for earthly pleasures. Even today, in our modern contemporary society of high technology, with our many inventions of "easy living" we can even sin faster. With  fast communications and transportation, we can break all Ten Commandments in a hurry...
I will admit that - 2nd Chron. 26:15 - sets forth a positive utility of inventions. During the reign of King Uzziah cunning men invented offensive weaponry to be used against the enemy. "And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread abroad; for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong."
Consequently, I will mention a few of the greater and more well known inventions of our day. McCormick invented the Reaper, Robert Fulton, the steamboat; Eli Whitney, the cotton gin; Thomas Edison, the electric light, and the phonograph; the Wright Brothers, the airplane; Henry Ford is credited with the automobile; Alexander Graham Bell, the telephone. I could go on and on, but the point is that while these inventions are all useful, yet everyone of them can and have been used to violate all Ten Commandments.
Further, I affirm in - Psalms 99:8 - "That answerest them, O Lord our God; thou was a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions." Again - Psalms 108:29 - "Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions; and the plague brake in upon them." V. 39 - "Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions." Fallen man invents a good thing, but then always uses it sinfully. Further - Prov. 8:12 - "I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions." The "Wisdom" is the Lord Himself. Fallen man cannot seemingly "go straight."
Especially notice what man has done with Thomas Edison's Phonograph today. The most sinful, immoral and ungodly lyrics and beats of music is baptizing us all....Amos 6:5 - "That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David." God has allowed and permitted with much longsuffering the sins of us all, but will not acquit the guilty. He will punish us all for all our sins. If we could slip one little sin by The Lord, then he would be mocked. Gal. 6:7 - "Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul writes in -Rom. 1:30 - reflecting the negative attitude and thinking of fallen depraved man's mind as - "Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, Inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents." V. 31 - "Without understanding..." That is, without Spiritual Insight. Their natural understanding is to invent something for their evil sinful fulfillment.
History is replete with sinful man's quests. It seems to me by my own experiences of life, that "the good ole' days" were slower and happier; however, sin still reigned and abounded. Yet, with today's inventions, we can sin faster and more abundantly. Let me leave you with this positive thought. Rom 5:20 - ...But where sin [inventions] abounded, Grace did much more abound." Thanks to God for His grace and mercy, without which none would ever see The Lord or be in Heaven...
I have learned through the years, that God has allowed man to go as far as his carnal mind can conjure up. Man has invented so many things, till it is impossible to enumerate them. Yet has man improved? No. All inventions start in the "minds of men and women." Many inventions are "thoughts, ideas, concepts, views, interpretations, conclusions" and such can even become a Religions.
"Ideologies" are the most dangerous inventions. These very inventions are the embryonic seeds of cults and sects. We can remember clearly such in Humanism and now The New Age Movement..
My dad told me about 45 years ago that statistics revealed that there were about 2,000 different religions in America. Today statistics reveal there are now about 3,600. These are all "inventions." Yes, man is inventing more religions every year...
Some are daily inventing new Bibles. God's word [Bible] cannot be tempered with - invented. The Holy Bible, God's Word is the most ancient antique, yet it is new every morning! It cannot really be invented. It is a "New Antique."
What's next? Since we cannot "out-invent" others, then why not just "stay the course" with The Apostles" Doctrine and Practice of The N.T. Church of the Lord Jesus Christ? Acts 2:2-4 - Here they were all baptized with the Holy Ghost. This is far better than the baptism of ungodly inventions. Acts 2:42 - Fifty days after Christ's Resurrection, we find "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."
Why then invent a new religion? Even if an inventor had only positive pure thoughts, as he conceived in his mind, that a certain invention would be good for man, yet this generation, or the next, will find someway to do evil with such invention...
There is no invention that will ever replace the Blood of Christ for Eternal Redemption and Salvation!
Hulan F. Bass, [Elder]
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THE BEST, AS IT IS
The Banner came today, I need not try to tell you how I love it and you people who work hard to make it the best, as it is.
De Leon, Texas
TAKEN THE PAPER FOR YEARS
Am sending money, please extend my subscription for another year. I enjoy the good news so much. Have taken the paper for years.
Your Sister in Christ,
Pauls Valley, Okla.
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By Elder Kenneth Clevenger
The more than two centuries after the great flood, God suffered with the rebellion of all the scattered tribes as they persisted in pantheism [all god's] and polytheism [many god's] which are fundamentally evolutionary systems, rejecting or ignoring the concept of an omnipotent Creator and worshipping the creation and the creature rather than the Creator.
Although these early tribes were still aware of the God, this knowledge gradually became of less and less importance to them in comparison with their own religious concerns. A classic passage of the apostle Paul speaks of this in Romans 1:21-25, "When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were they thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own bodies between themselves; Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen"
One of the great tendencies of the ancients was to fall into "ancestor and family worship." This was a great tendency with Abraham, for as we shall see, that it was only when Abraham had no other choice did he finally give-in to be separated from the last remaining family member that he brought, contrary to God's commandment out of the Ur of the Chaldees, see Genesis 13:8-11. We shall see that leaving the Ur of the Chaldees was not so difficult, but when he must leave his father and other family members behind, he just couldn't bring himself to do this; instead he disobeyed God and brought them with him.
The only true record of God's dealings with mankind were still being preserved through Noah's son Shem and his descendants. Finally one of these descendants, Abraham, was chosen to head a new nation, later to be known as Israel and named after Abraham's grandson.
Through this nation God once again would reveal himself and his purposes for the world; and through this nation He eventually entered the human family. The existing nations had gone off into the beliefs and practices of evolutionary pantheism and were unfit to receive God's revelation, so God prepared a new nation, founded by a man of such strong faith in the true God of creation that he would forever be called "the father of all them that believe." [Romans 4:11]. Also we might note that consequently, most of God's written word would be transmitted to mankind through the medium of the Hebrew language, the tongue of Abraham [Genesis 14:13].
Now let us consider the call of Abraham, and how he struggled on a "downward course" for a long time before he finally, and when only by the grace of God, took up his place in the Land of Milk and Honey. We read in Genesis 12:1, "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house unto a land that I will shew thee." In Hebrews 1:8 we read, "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whether he went." Then we read in Genesis 11:31, "And Terah took "Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them to Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
In Acts 7:2-4, we read from Stephen's sermon, "The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charan [Haran], And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I will shew thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charan [Haran]; and from thence, when his father was dead, he then removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell." [Canaan] Finally we read in Isaiah 51:2, "Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him."
From all the above we see that God had called Abraham and Sarah his wife to "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred." Although Abraham walked by faith, "not knowing whither he went," and left the land of the star gazers, [Chaldeans] he brought his father Terah and his nephew Lot with him. By doing this Abraham disobeyed God and began his "downward course," a course he would follow for a great number of years. He was willing to obey God partially but not completely. He was willing to leave the Ur of the Chaldees, [the world], however he was not willing to leave all of it behind him. He was not willing to forsake all in favor of God, he would bring some idols [family] with him, even into the land of Canaan [church]. So, it is with some today, if they would be allowed, they would bring the inventions of men [their idols] into the church; some others would be happy to become a member of the church if they could just bring their idols with them, but if they must leave them behind they will just continue out there in the world where they can worship them.
God said to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy."
[Romans 9:15-16.] God had acted in a sovereign manner in calling Abraham, he had shown mercy and compassion to Abraham, which was far more than he was entitled to, he was a vessel of mercy, who like Noah had "found grace in the eyes of God."
Although Abraham alone was called, he should not question God as to why He didn't call others of his family, but rather, he should inquire why He would extend such grace and mercy to him. God owes us nothing, but we owe everything to Him, for "ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness [as did Abraham] into his marvelous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." See 1 Peter 2:9-10
Well, after five years of wasted time in Haran, located just out of Chaldee, and only after his father was dead, did "God remove him." "So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him." [Genesis 12:4] Again Abraham "de parted as the Lord had spoken," but again he was not willing to leave all behind him, he brought Lot with him. Almost obeying God just won't get it, by bringing Lot [some of the world, an Idol] with him he was blatantly continuing to disobey God. Abraham continued on his "downward course."
"And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. And Abram passed through the land." [Genesis 12:5-6]. Notice God did not allow Abraham to take up a place in Canaan [church] because he was not, as yet, a fit subject he at this point in his life was still not willing to put God above all others, even his relatives However, take note that they both, Abraham and Lot, had gained a considerable amount of this worlds goods as a mark of God's approval. Some of the most renown of the lord's saint's lived a life of deprivation and suffering, while others of the most infamous lived a life of sloth and luxury. However, the Lord's people are thankful for what they have, and by the grace of God, are happy with far less of this worlds' goods than the worldling.
In Genesis 12:7 we see that God promised he would give unto Abraham and his seed the land of Canaan, however, the promise did not include Lot and his seed. Abraham built an altar there and the Lord appeared to him there, however, he tenaciously held unto Lot, "and he removed from thence."
"And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel. [house of God; church] and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai, [a heap of ruin; the world of outer darkness] on the east; and there he builded an altar unto the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord," [Genesis 12:8]. There is no doubt that the Lord loved Abraham, and we know that there is no doubt that Abraham loved God, however, we see that he pitched his tent out there in the world, not yet willing to obey God completely. He would, if he could, live out of the church and yet he would try to live above the evil world.
Concluded in September 1995
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KEEP IT COMING
Please keep the Banner of Love coming. It is great!
Best wishes to all.
Thanks very much for your labors to make the paper available to us.
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By Brother Paul Montgomery
First Peter 2:20 "For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but, if when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." The word buffeted means to chastise or punish. We are to endure punishment when we do wrong which is the way it should be. But, are we to endure punishment for doing right? How many times have you felt that you were wrongly accused of something you did or did not do?
When I was a child, I would put the blame on my brothers when I had done something wrong. When my mother or father would ask who did it; I would point my finger at one of my brothers. I would falsely accuse them of doing wrong. Trust me, they did the same thing to me. But thanks be to God, our parents taught us to tell the truth and to endure punishment when we do wrong. But the question is, should we endure punishment and be falsely accused of doing evil when we have done nothing wrong?
In verse 20 of First Peter, chapter two, Peter says that "...when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." First Peter 3:16-17 "Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing." In plain English, my friends, it is better to be falsely accused of doing wrong than to be righteously accused of doing evil.
We can read examples in the Bible of those who were falsely accused and endured the punishment. Such as Joseph and how his brothers sold him to the Ishmaelites. He was taken down to Egypt as a slave, and in his master's house, he was falsely accused by his master's wife. Because of this false accusation, he was cast into prison. But we see the Lord was always with Joseph. For it was God's will that he go down in Egypt to preserve life. He would interpret Pharaoh's dream of the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine.
Pharaoh put him in second of command over the land of Egypt. And when the seven years of famine came, Joseph would save the lives of his father's house by feeding them the corn of Egypt. He didn't take any revenge over his brothers for selling him into slavery. But seeing that this was the will of God, he praised him by his faithfulness..
Also we can read of Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego at how they would not worship Nebuchadnezzar's golden image and were cast into the fiery furnace. But we see that God was with them and they were delivered from the furnace. We see that Daniel was cast to the lions for worshiping God. But, God was with Daniel and delivered him from the lions. Peter, Paul and the other apostles were mocked, ridiculed, beaten and cast into prison; but time after time they were delivered from wicked hands. Yes, Peter, and Paul at the end were put to death, but listen to what Paul had to say to Timothy, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7. So many examples of how men have been falsely accused of wrong doing, yet have been delivered by the hand of God.
But, there is no greater example of one being falsely accused of doing evil than Jesus Christ. First Peter 2:21-23 "... because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again, when he suffered he threatened not; but committed himself to his [God] that judgeth righteously." Jesus, one who never sinned, yet took the punishment of all our sins. He was taken to Pilate and falsely accused. Luke 23:2 "And they began to accuse him, saying We found this fellow perverting the nation and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ's King."
Jesus once said to give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. And we read in Matthew 26:59-61 and Mark 14: 55-58 how the priests found nothing but false witnesses at his trial. Stephen tells of these false witnesses in Acts 6:13-14 "And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law for we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us." Jesus did not destroy the law but fulfilled the law. False accusations is all any man can bring against Christ as an evildoer.
No sin has ever been found in him. The most perfect man who ever walked on this earth. He took the punishment as if he were guilty. What a perfect example Jesus Christ is to live our lives as we should. Let's pray for each other.
So, if such times come when you are being falsely accused for doing evil, do not be sad but rejoice. "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God rest upon you; on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified." [First Peter 4: 14] God is with you, but most of all He is being praised. Is it not our main purpose in= life to praise and give glory to God? For myself, I would have to say. What other reason is there to live than to give praises unto God? "Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity." [Ecc. 1:2] So if to suffer as a Christian gives glory to God, then so be it. "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian; let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on his behalf."
[First Peter 4:16] Oh, I do not pray for such trials to come my way so, I may give glory to God. But when they come, let God be glorified.
But, what glory is there when we are righteously being accused as an evildoer? Peter asked this question in First Peter 2:20. He goes on to say in verse 15 of chapter 4, "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." A murderer who is accused as being a murderer, is righteously being accused. Same as a thief, an evildoer, and a busybody. We are to obey the laws of the land as long as they don't go against God's laws. And Jesus brought all of the laws of God into two commandments, to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. If we can follow these commandments, then all they will ever have is false accusations.
There is no glory to God when we sin. And when others see us sinning, they now have the right to accuse us as evildoers. We can find an example of this in Second Samuel 12:14. Because of the sin of David with Bathsheba, Nathan says to David, "Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme..." Have we not seen this in our times? Those who claim to be men of God on TV and radio have been caught in the act of adultery or other such matters. They may not be Primitive Baptist, but in general by their actions have caused reasons to blaspheme God. But, we as Primitive Baptist are not perfect either, and we have at times been guilty of this as well. And, we being the true church of God, we should be more careful of what we do and say.
Oh, our sins may not be publicized as those on TV or radio, but how many times have our faults kept someone from joining the church? Giving them reasons not to join or not to come back.
Most of all we are the true church of God. God's enemies are watching. When we do wrong, they can point and say, evildoer. When we do as we should, what can they say? Nothing, but false accusations.
Who would want to falsely accuse us as evildoers? Is there anyone who actually hates us? Jesus said in John 15: 18-19, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." The world wants us to be as they are, not as followers of Christ. The ways of God is not the ways of the world. John 17:14, "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
If they hate God, they will hate us also. therefore they that persecuted and spoke evil of Jesus will do the same to us. Verse 21, "But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him [God] that sent me." They knew not of God as we do.
All through history we can read of ones who have been falsely accused. Many of these have been put into prisons or even to death. Will we stand for the truth today if such harsh persecutions some our way? I am sure most of us would give up our own lives and loved ones for the cause of Christ. But, to be put to death or cast into prison is not the only ways of being persecuted.
These two are physical persecutions, but what about mental persecution? For example, peer pressure. We want to be part of the "in" group. If you are like me, you don't want anyone to hate you. I want to be friends with everyone I meet. But, the price for friendship is sometimes too high for me. Jesus Christ is my best friend, and he sticketh closer than a brother. Any man that says I must put Jesus aside is no friend of mine.
If we follow Jesus the world will mock us. Have any of you been called weird, strange, or just plain stupid? What about being falsely accused as lawbreakers? Have we not seen in our own time one of our Elders being falsely accused of this? Has anyone been called a worshiper of the devil? I for one have because I profess to believe in salvation by grace. A man once told me that anyone who preaches salvation by grace is a servant of the devil and is out to deceive the child of God.
And here in Houston, Texas, there is a man [not a Primitive Baptist] who is writing a book on, why the Primitive Baptist doctrine is wrong. So far, he hasn't written that much and what he has written is junk.
There are many other types of persecution that can come our way, but when they come, what are we to do? First Peter 3: 14-15, "But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye; and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." Colossians 4:6, "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye say know how ye ought to answer every man."
Jesus says to fear not them that can kill the body and not the soul. But, we are to fear Him that is able to destroy both soul and body. We should profess our belief, not hide it in fear of what others might think or do. Be not ashamed to mention the name Jesus in public. If they do persecute you in any fashion, stand firm to your belief. Because God is with you and He will never forsake you. He knows of such times and will give you the grace to bear these tribulations. First John 3:13 "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you."
There is coming a day when false accusations will end. God himself will say.."Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." But, until then my friends, give them nothing to accuse you of but false accusations.
In Christian Love,
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SISTER ALPHA SLAWSON
Sister Alpha Slawson passed from this life on June 20, 1995 at the age of 106 years.
Funeral services were held at Davis Funeral Home in Georgetown, Texas with Elder Larry Hausenfluke conducting services.
Sister Slawson joined the Florence Primitive Baptist Church in 1917. She was the oldest member on church records at the time of her passing. She loved the church and attended faithfully until her health failed.
She is survived by one daughter and two sons.
Submitted by Sister Helen Wade.
J. D. [JIGGS] PYRON
We, the Elk Creek, OK Primitive Baptist Church wish to acknowledge the passing of our brother in Christ, J.D. [Jiggs] Pyron on May 14, 1995.
Brother Jiggs was born to Clyde and Martha Pyron on March 22, 1918 near Cloud Chief, OK. He attended school there before moving to Dill City and completed his education there. He met Deva Bocock while in school and there were married March 16, 1936. They made their home in or near Dill City for over 59 years.
Jiggs was a farmer-rancher and a member of the Elk Creek Church. Brother Jiggs is survived by his wife, Deva of the home, two daughters, Jean Kay Simpson and husband Darrell of Frederick, OK, Jeri Stallings and husband Dean of Amarillo, TX; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; two sisters. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers; and one son-in-law, Jack Berry.
Funeral services were conducted at Loftiss Funeral Home.
The Elk Creek Church wishes to express its deepest sympathy to the loved ones and pray that they will find comfort in knowing that he is in a better place with his Lord.
Elder Henry Newman, Pastor
Lee Griffee, Church Clerk
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Resolution of Respect for Deacon
GILBERT LEON JENNINGS
We, the members of the Pilgrim's Rest Primitive Baptist Church at Stratton, TX respectfully mourn the passing of our beloved deacon Brother Jennings from this life on April 11, 1995 at the age of 58.
Brother Jennings joined the Stratton Church May 2, 1987.
Brother Jennings is survived by his faithful companion, Sister Aline Williams Jennings; and sons, Gilbert Leon Jennings, Jr. of Victoria, TX and James R. Jennings of Morales, TX; and seven loving grandchildren.
Funeral services were held April 13th at the Salem Baptist Church at Ezzell, TX near his childhood home with Brother Walter Fleming and Brother Jack Fleming officiating. Brother Jennings was laid to rest at Salem Cemetery.
We shall miss his companionship, wise counsel and gentle ways, as we know Sister Aline and the rest of the family will. Our prayers for the spiritual comfort of the family are many indeed.
Submitted to the Church for her approval while in conference and forwarded to The Banner of Love and other interested publications this 9th day of July, 1995.
Elder Billy J. Walden, Pastor
Daryl Fowler, Church Clerk
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SISTER ALPHA McCARTY
We, the Zion Primitive Baptist Church, Crosbyton, Texas bows in humble submission to the Will of our Heavenly Father who has called one of our members, Sister Alpha McCarty to her heavenly home.
Sister McCarty was born Dec. 27, 1908 in Vera, TX. She married Colene McCarty Dec. 28, 1923. Born to this union were three children; Elvis of Crosbyton, TX, Waynell Harris of Grandbury, TX. She was preceded in death by her husband, Colene, on October 17, 1960 and a son, Wayne, on May 20, 1983.
Sister Alpha was a member of the Crosbyton Primitive Baptist Church.
Her funeral was held Friday, January 27, 1995 with her pastor, Elder Mike Rodgers and Elder George Johnson officiating. Burial was in the Crosbyton Cemetery.
Sister Alpha was also survived by seven grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.
To know her was to love her.
Elder Mike Rodgers, Pastor
Joe Taylor, Church Clerk
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IN MEMORY OF SISTER McCARTY
Hands that work at daily task
with a loving art,
Hands that give to others
from a caring heart.
Hands that soothe a fevered brow
hands that dry a tear
Hands that find the time to play
when little ones are near
Hands that create loveliness
for all the world to share
Hands that find serenity
when they clasp in prayer..
Hands that do God's will on earth
from morning to until night
Are beautiful to all who see
and blessed in His sight.
JO ANN HUEY
The little flock of Little Bethany Primitive Baptist Church of San Diego, CA, bow in humble submission to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who has called Sister Jo Ann Huey home.
Sister Huey was born February 1926 to Elder Ralph and Sister Margarite Frye in La Hunta, CO. Her family moved to California in the early forties where she met Brother Bob Huey. They were joined in matrimony in 1945.
To this union was born five children; Gary, Bobby Jo, and Jimmy of No. Car. and Earl and Phyllis of the San Diego, area.
She joined Little Bethany Church Dec. 4, 1977 and was a faithful member and attended church with Brother Huey, but because of illness was unable to attend for several years. Brother Huey and her brother, Louis, preceded her in death.
Sister Huey passed from this vale of tears, February of this year, making her pilgrimage here 69 years. She is survived by four brothers, Fred, Richard of Lakeside, CA; her five children and seven grandchildren and many friends and church members who mourn her passing. She was laid to rest at Montelita, CA. to await her blessed Savior.
Elder Sam Bryant, Moderator
Glen E. Ramsey, Church Clerk
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ALBERT A. MORRIS
We at Pilgrims Rest Church of Duncan, OK bow in humble submission to our Almighty God in that He has called Brother Albert Morris home to rest, June 17, 1995.
Brother Albert was born January 27, 1908 at Granite, OK to Grigg and Grace Morris. He was married to Sister Katie Lee Elam on December 4, 1927. He joined the Primitive Baptist Church in 1925 and has served the church as a deacon since 1945.
He is survived by his wife of the home; three sons and daughters-in-law, Brother Douglas and Sister Clariece Morris of Ardmore; Brother Robert and Sister Charlene Morris of Strawn, Texas, and Elder Herbert and Sister Vanada Morris of Salem, Oregon; three brothers, Earl, Leonard, and Loyd; two sisters, Sister Josephine Elam and Sister Helen Smith; ten grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren, and a number of other relatives.
Funeral services were conducted June 20th by his pastor, Elder Dennis Kreie, with burial in the Duncan Cemetery.
Brother Albert will be greatly missed, but we rejoice with him that he is now at home forever more with Jesus. He was devoted to his God, his church, and his family. He was a Primitive Baptist by grace and by choice. He was a senior deacon and a faithful servant to his brothers and sisters in Christ. May God give each of us the grace to leave behind such a good and lasting testimony as did Brother Albert Morris. He took his responsibilities seriously and did his work well.
Be it resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent to his family as a small token of our sympathy and a copy be entered in our Church records, and published in The Banner of Love.
Written by order of the church, while in conference, June 24th, 1995.
Elder Dennis Kreie, Pastor
Sister Rita Bostick, Church Clerk
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DEACON CHESTER C. COLEMAN
In loving memory the Primitive Baptist Church at Mountain View, OK wish to write words of Respect for our beloved brother and deacon, Chester Charles Coleman of Walters, OK, who was called from this life by God, who doeth all things well, May 12, 1995, at age 77 years, six months and ten days.
Brother Charles Coleman was born Nov. 2, 1917 to Samuel Walter and Martha Elizabeth [Beverage] Coleman at Fort Cobb, CA.
He was married to Anabel Taylor Anderson, July 15, 1945 in her home town at Hartshorne, OK. He helped to raise Anabel's daughter, Diane and in 1947 a daughter, Cathy was born to Chester and Anabel. He joined the Primitive Baptist Church in 1934 and was ordained a deacon in later years, and he served this office well. He was ever faithful to his church, always manifesting a deep interest in her welfare and in all matters pertaining to the good of the church; his ideas and opinions were sound and dependable.
Chester was faithful to attend his church as long as his health permitted. The church has suffered a great loss of a dear member and the family a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather. The church counts it a great privilege to have known Brother Chester and to have been associated with him.
Funeral services were held May 15, 1995 at 2:00 p.m. in the Hart-Wyatt Funeral Chapel, Walters, OK, with Rev. Dan Frisby officiating and assisted by Chester's beloved pastor, Elder Glenn Rooker of Tuttle, OK.
Survivors are his wife, Anabel of the home, daughter, Cathy and his granddaughters and families; Debra and Steve Hodson, Traci and Kelli of Covington, Dana Hatfield and Beth; of Guthrie; Dayla and Carl Reckknagel, and Kyle of Waukomis, three brothers and two sisters and families. Vernon Coleman of Wynnewood, Carroll Coleman of Dallas, Texas, Gerald Coleman of Amber,OK, Opal Bryant of Oklahoma City and Lucille Wood of Midwest City.
Preceding him in death, his parents, grand daughters, mother, Diana and one sister, Lavitha Coleman.
To the family, relatives and friends The Primitive Baptist Church of Mountain View, Oklahoma, extends our deepest and sincere sympathy.
Resolved that a copy of this Resolution of Respect be placed on the church records, a copy sent to the family, and one sent to the Primitive Baptist paper.
This was written by the order of the Church while in conference Saturday, May 27, 1995.
Elder Glenn Rooker, Moderator
J. F. Zimmerman, Church Clerk
Committee: Ethel Mace and J. F. Zimmerman
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In Memory of
SISTER DOROTHY BALDOCK
Dorothy Dixon Daldock born July 4, 1924 went home to the Lord June 21, 1995. She was born in Texico, NM to the parents N.C. and Mollie Dixon. Due to her mother's death when Dorothy was only six months old she was raised by the P.M. Owens family
Sister Dorothy married Walter C. Baldock on May 24, 1942. She joined the Primitive Baptist Church in 1953 in Artesia, NM: baptized by Elder Gerald Hand. Sister Dorothy worked alongside Brother Walter in the church at Clovis until her death. She was a dutiful deacon's wife and loving mother of three. When she was called home to the Lord what a great void it left in the Clovis Church.
Her funeral was held Saturday June 24, 1995 at the Fairview Primitive Baptist Church, with her pastor, Elder Bernard Gowens conducting the services. The church wanted to notify her sister churches of this loss and ask you to pray for us and the Baldock family.
May it be resolved that this letter of respect was sent to the Banner of Love for publication; a copy for the records and copies sent to her loving husband and children.
Ordered in conference on the 2nd day of July 1995
Elder Bernard Gowens, Moderator
Brother Phil Jackson, Church Clerk
ATTENDED GOOD MEETINGS
You folks are really doing a wonderful work doing the Banner of Love.
My son-in-law took me to Muleshoe, TX Church in June. It was so good to see old friends, meet new ones and the message that Brother Watson delivered. The fellowship, singing, prayers, the beautiful meal, it was all so very wonderful.
At the close of the service, as always the congregation going up front and shaking hands all present; but, the little fellow, grandson of Elder Don Martin, kissed me. I just had to kiss him back. My cup runneth over.
Recently Sister Funderburk took her little mother, Sister Nowlin and me to Gorman. The same sweet fellowship abounded in this congregation. Elder Washek, their pastor is also our pastor. Visitors from Eastland, Comanche, perhaps other places. It was such a blessing to be there.
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The 94th session of the Chambers Creek Association just concluded with Paradise Primitive Baptist Church of Arlington, Texas hosting this wonderful and blessed meeting. Without a doubt it seemed that God poured out an extra blessing on the entire meeting and it appeared that God gave each minister an extra helping of preaching grace, as they all came in to the pulpit proclaiming the glory and power of God. The singing was very inspiring, with plenty of excellent song leaders to get the singing started and the congregation just lifted the roof singing the praises of God and a risen Savior. This was the largest attendance that I have seen in years here. The final count of Elders attending came to thirty-seven.
I would like to give all the ladies a great big thank you for the job they did with all the food. I do not want to forget to thank all the ladies of our sister churches for all the food they brought and all the help they gave us in the serving of it. Without the financial support that the sister churches gave us, it would not have been possible for us to have entertained this meeting in the manner we are able to; we sincerely thank everyone who contributed in any way to the meeting.
On Thursday evening Elder John Conley from the state of Mississippi spoke on "The mystery of godliness." He was followed by Elder J. P. Dale of Fredericksburg, TX, and his text was "The Footprints of Jesus." Then on Friday morning Elder Ralph Sandage from Donaldson, Arkansas preached "No Condemnation in Christ," followed by Elder R. A. Tindall from Amarillo Texas who told us about "Christ, the Lamb of God."
After the noon meal Elder Bill Huckaby from Oklahoma spoke about "The Spirit of the Child of God," than Elder Hugh Montgomery from Lampasas, Texas was blessed to declare "Spiritual Rest." Friday evening Elder Thomas Bond from Alabama preached, "The Resurrection," and he was followed by Elder James Winston from Little Rock, Arkansas taking as his subject, "Darkness and Light."
Saturday morning after a God praising and very uplifting singing we had a brief business session; to welcome Indian Oaks Church into the Association. They had previously petitioned all the churches in the association and all had voted unanimously to receive them. Indian Oaks Church had asked for and was granted the privileges of entertaining the next session of the association in 1996. After this Elder Danny Ferrell from Kentucky came forward proclaiming "God with Man," and he was followed by Elder Cleveland Bass from Muleshoe, Texas, whose text was, "What is Done Shall be Done."
After another wonderful meal we met back in the church with some more magnificent singing. Then Elder James Henthorn of Hubbard, spoke proclaiming "True Manna," and he was followed by Elder Dwayne Shafer preaching, "Touching is Believing." Saturday evening Elder Billy Moseley of Houston, Texas came forward speaking on "The Savior," then Elder Charles Sandage from Donaldson, Arkansas preached on "In Christ."
This now brings us to Sunday morning, and this a sort of a sad and also a glorious time, as we begin to think the meeting is almost over; yet we can realize that God has been praised and he has showered His blessings down upon us. This is a great mystery to me as to why God would choose to bless, when we are so errant in our words and deeds; this just makes me know we have an all wise and merciful God. I do not think we have any idea of the depth and mercy of the God we worship, or of His Son that has redeemed us out of every nation, kindred, tongue and people, to borrow a word out of this present generation, it is just "mind boggling."
Elder Billy Walker from Tennessee preached first on "Effectual Calling," and Elder Hulan Bass from Lockhart, Texas closed out our worship services by telling us "It Is Finished"; not the association, but the work of Jesus Christ. We also need to thank our pastor, Elder Jim Jackson, for the excellent job he did in moderating the meeting.
If this association and the spirit manifested here is a forerunner of all associations this year we are in for a grand and glorious season. I just pray that they all will be God honoring and praising; and that Jesus Christ will be held up for all to see and worship, as it was very evident here during this whole meeting.
Brother Jimmie Smyth
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A BEAUTIFUL BLESSING
It was again a beautiful blessing to be at the Old Harmony Association at Mt. Olive, Texas.
God's grace abounded. The most wonderful Gospel proclaimed and sweet, sweet music. Praise God it was so sweet and the spirit of God was there.
I have been inspired to write a poem. I try to write poems and songs as God inspires me to do so. For with Him, I am complete, but without Him, I am nothing.
Thanks and may God richly bless you all,
WALK WITH ME
Please Dear Lord go with me,
Walk with me all the way.
Watch over me and guide me,
And help me through the day.
I pray that all I do is good,
to help others see your love,
And one day when it's over,
I'll see you in heaven above.
Please help me not to yield to sin,
It's everywhere I know,
But let my path be watered by your love,
So it will always grow.
Let others be my main concern,
As through this life I pass;
And when at last it's over,
Lord, I'll know I've done my
Darlene Robertson McDonald
Dedicated to my brother, Elder Archie Robertson, Hamilton, Texas.
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We very much appreciate receiving your paper. We enjoy the articles and feel the Lord speaks to us through the writers.
What a blessing it is to hear the truth.
New Hope Primitive Baptist Church
Elder Jerry Swindell, Pastor
Sister Sherry Wood, Clerk
DON'T WANT TO MISS A COPY
Please renew my Banner of Love Don't want to miss a copy.
I enjoy reading it all.
Mrs. Charles A. Head
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SING LOUD HIS PRAISES
Dear Friends, do you at times feel you are a poor wayfaring stranger? You are lonesome and you seek comfort.
You may even turn on TV to see if you can find a program to give you a lift- though all you find is the pomp and show of worldly pleasures. You then might say with Brother Job, It is all a miserable comforter.
Perhaps in our being so lonesome we are missing our parents, our friends and loved one who we know are now in spirit in supreme bliss with our Heavenly Father. And we find some comfort in this, for which we can praise God for.
We remember in Psalms it tells us to sing loud His praises and as our spirit is lifted we cam sing, We are going there to meet our loved ones and sing, I'm going there to see my Savior. I'm going there no more to roam.
I'm only going over Jordan, I'm only going over home.
Yes, it is a comfort to know, There's no sickness, toil or danger there.
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WITH BOUNTIFUL GIFTS
We pray that the Lord will bless you folks at the Banner with bountiful gifts of grace in a continuing way.
Elder Kenneth Clevenger
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By Don R. Richards
The world can a perfect trap for people like me.
I am easily distracted. Too many little (and many times useless) things about life are of interest to me. It is the "sideshows" of life that too often distract me from the main event.
My actions remind me of children, including my own, who have difficulty going to such things as the circus or the fair -- because of the difficulty in getting past the sideshows. We go to see the main event, yet almost miss it because of the distractions of all the various types of sideshows.
I know I have gotten aggravated at my children when Melba or I take them to an major event, only to almost miss the main attraction because of the numerous sideshows in route. Of course, I have no right to get aggravated, because I have never been able myself to get past the sideshows without being pulled in. (But please do not tell my children I am admitting this.)
The world is full of sideshows.
Have you been to the grocery store recently. I am one of those who loves to go grocery shopping. Rarely do I come back home with just the items I started out to purchase. There are always new displays; and usually I go when I am hungry and thus more easily tempted. I simply get distracted from the main reason I am there.
There is no better place than a good hardware store for distracting sideshows. There is practically no way I can go into a hardware store and stay on my intended mission -- I am distracted by the sideshows on every isle.
It is always the sideshows which distract our attention from the main attraction. And if we are not careful, it is the sideshows which get all our time and attention at the risk of missing entirely the main event.
This is not a new problem. It is not a problem which has just surfaced in recent years. The problem of sideshows has been around for some time.
Moses faced this same problem as he led his people through the wilderness from Egypt into the promised land. The 4th Chapter of Deuteronomy is good reading for those of us who are easily distracted by sideshows -- just as Moses feared for his people.
Moses instructed the Israelites to be cautious of all the "sideshows". He instructed them to keep focused on the "main event" -- to follow the Lord's commandments and teach the Lord's statutes to their children and grandchildren so as to help them avoid the sideshows.
"Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you."
"You shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." Deut. 4:1-2.
Moses told the Israelites to avoid the sideshows, and to instruct their children likewise.
"Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life; but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons..." Deut. 4-9.
Moses provided a special warning regarding forms of idolatry. Deut. 4:15-19.
Idolatry is the ultimate form of a sideshow -- it is a total distraction (a substitute) from the main event. Moses warned about the worship of "graven images" in human form, bird form, animal, reptile or insect, or fish.
He warned about worship of the sun, moon or stars as a distraction from the main event --which is the worship of the Lord.
"And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven." Deut. 4:19.
Just as Moses told the Israelites more than 2,000 years ago, we should be cautious that the "sideshows" do not distract us from the main event. As with all things, the side shows are there in the first place only because of the main event. If there is no main event, there certainly would be no sideshow.
Look at the moon and stars tonight. They are beautiful. We can appreciate them, for all their brightness and their height and their influence; but we should not worship them, because they are a sideshow. We may be tempted to worship them, as many people in today's society do. But no glory is warranted to the sun, the moon nor the stars. We should worship the one who is responsible for putting them there for us.
Look at the majestic mountain range of the Rockies, or the Grand Tetons -- or the beauty of the great rivers -- and thank God for providing them to us.
Look at the many other beauties and conveniences (and even the important people in our lives) God has provided to us, but do not be distracted from first praising the one who gave them to us. The Lord has provided us an abundance of blessings -- but they are merely sideshows when it comes time to devoting our praise and thanks to the Lord who provided them.
We also should look around in our churches. Have we put too much time and attention into a "sideshow", slighting the main event for which we are there?
Moses told the same thing to the Israelites: he reminded them it is the Lord who brought them out of the furnace of Egypt and it is the Lord upon whom they should keep them attention.
Examine your life and your church for all the sideshows. Look around you and admit the many tempting sideshows which distract from the main attraction. Consider all the temptations and the corrupt inclinations we have.
We need to review the sideshows in our lives and then remember, as Moses said, to "keep thy soul diligently" and focus our praise and worship on the main attraction -- not the sideshows.
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