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History Repeats

Déjà vu, French for "already seen," refers to the feeling that a situation you are currently experiencing has already experienced in the past. It is a strange feeling of our memory playing a trick on us. But on the larger scale of world history it has been long observed that history repeats itself. The names and places may change, but the parallels to the past experiences of history replay themselves in the lives of generations to come. As George Santayan, a Spanish-American author, famously observed: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
    That statement by itself has a feeling of déjà vu, we've heard it before. The famous playwright George Bernard Shaw observed, "We learn from history that we learn nothing from history” and poet Lord Byron observed, “History, with all her volumes vast, hath but one page.” But all of these reflect the far older, inspired truth of wise King Solomon, "That which has been is what will be,…

Deacons as Not Doubled Tongued

Read: 1 Timothy 3:8    The following entry is found in a book entitled Epitaphiana: "Sir John Strange / Here lies an honest lawyer, / And that is Strange" (archive.org). I can’t vouch for its authenticity, but there was a popular British lawyer in the 1700’s with whom such an epitaph has been associated.
     When Paul began outlining the spiritual qualifications for deacons he demanded that they be honest. To be "double-tongued" is to adjust the truthfulness of their speech to the conclusions held by their hearers. They are like the dishonorable listeners in 2 Timothy 4:3 who, "because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers." Preachers and teachers can be just as guilty by saying what any given audience "wants" to hear rather than what they "need" to hear. Such fast and loose handling of God's word should have no place in the life of a Christian. Therefore, those working with a deacon and those whom a deac…

Thank God For Mothers!

Cries of anguish filled the throne room of Heaven. God's chosen nation languished in severe bondage, oppressed by the merciless brutality of Egypt. Heaven rang with cries of confusion at the silence and apparent apathy of God. Cries of desperation in the face of seemingly forgotten promises of deliverance echoed about the Creator.
    The time was right for God to change the world. A child was to be born, sheltered and nurtured to step into the vacant leadership role and bring forth the Hebrew nation. But before that child could be sent, another had to come, a kind, caring soul equipped to bring about the marvelous scheme of Heaven. God sent first Jochebed, a mother.
    Later cries of anticipation filled the throne room of God as the world languished in deadly bondage to sin. These were cries of hope that God would act by bringing forth the long-awaited Savior. Israel anticipated the Messiah that God had promised. Their cries of exultation, prompted by the knowledge of those wo…

The Origin of Mother's Day

The story of Anna Jarvis is fairly well known. Her campaign for an annual Sunday to honor mothers began the year she lost her own mother, 1905. During the Civil War Miss Jarvis' mom worked in military hospitals taking care of wounded soldiers, North and South alike. Her concern for better medical care continued well after the war. It was her mother’s zeal and selfless service that Anna Jarvis was intent on honoring.
    Her efforts met with success on a local level when her local denomination set aside a Sunday in May 1908 to honor her own mother. Nationally, however, would prove a more difficult prospect. In that same year Congress rejected the idea of a national Mother's Day. Just two years later Jarvis' home state of West Virginia recognized Mother's Day as a state holiday with other states to follow their example. By 1911 all of the states observed Mother's Day. President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as …

Mother’s Measure of Success

Various standards have been used in mankind's attempt to measure success. Some measure success by awards, peer recognition, or verbal praise. For others, the number of digits following the dollar sign measure success. Some seek success in the trappings of things: cars, houses, “toys.” Success is measured by some in the number of hours spent pursuing their leisure hobby and others by time spent in the office. None of these measures are nearly as accurate as Mother’s Measure.
     Success, to Mother, is measured in spiritual riches and faithfulness to God. When God is revered and His will upheld, to her you are in first place. When you unselfishly serve others she knows you learned well the secret of life. No matter what the world may say, by Mother’s Measure you have succeeded.
    To the faithful Christian mother success is not in what their children “have” but who they are. They cannot fail as long as they can look their mother in her eyes and hear her honestly say, “I'm p…

What Do You WANT To Do To Be Saved?

Authorities in Glenville, NY are baffled. The small town has witnessed several single vehicle accidents involving large trucks. According to the Daily Gazette in nearby Schenectady, the Glenridge Road railroad bridge has been struck by trucks, peeling back trailer tops, "at least 20 times since a road-widening project was finished in 2013" (dailygazette.com). The problem? The clearly marked bridge has a clearance of only 10 feet 11 inches while the average height of an 18-wheeler is between 13 and 14 feet.
    Many site an increased reliance on GPS devices for the accidents while others blame drivers for ignoring clearly marked low clearance warning signs. In a similar, but far more serious vein, is the failure of many modern religious people to properly heed the biblical "warning signs" when it comes to God's plan of salvation.
    Whether they are blindly following their denominational teachings or refusing to take God’s Word seriously, the result is always…

The Origin of Easter

Except for Acts 12:4 in the King James Version, the religious holiday known as Easter is not mentioned in the Bible. That lone KJV citing should have been translated "Passover," as it is on every other occurrence.
    The debate of the origin of Easter has a long and passionate history. One side argues that as the church grew it adopted and "Christianized" pagan festivals. So the pagan feast honoring “Eastre” was reassigned as a festival honoring Jesus' resurrection. The other side argues that only the name adopted to commemorate Jesus’ resurrection, "Easter," has pagan roots.
    Setting all the arguments aside two things become clear.
    First, there is no mention of "Easter" until the middle part of the second Christian century. That date is the crucial point for anyone seeking, as we do, to restore New Testament Christianity. There is no scriptural support for observing any specific date in our calendar year as a religious holiday. Chr…