Ruth, in Ruth 1:1-19, was a foreign woman from Moab who had married a Hebrew. When he died, she chose to go with her mother-in- law, Naomi, to Judah, rather than enjoy the security of her own people. Urged once and then again to turn back, Ruth spoke those cherished words, “Entreat me not to…

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Ruth, in Ruth 1:1-19, was a foreign woman from Moab who had married a Hebrew. When he died, she chose to go with her mother-in- law, Naomi, to Judah, rather than enjoy the security of her own people. Urged once and then again to turn back, Ruth spoke those cherished words, “Entreat me not to…

The healing of Bartimaeus, in Mark 10:46-52, is the final miracle performed by Jesus, according to Mark’s Gospel. The setting of the miracles occurs just when Jesus leaves Jericho and begins the last leg of his journey to Jerusalem. Jesus’ eyes are fixed upon Jerusalem; he knew what he was f…

At some point in our lives, we all face fearful situations. But if we yield to what we know is wrong, our lives will be filled with entanglements and trouble. Instead of being frail Christians who make our decisions out of fear, let’s become followers of Christ who hold firmly to God’s stand…

James and John, in Mark 10:35-45, asked for chief places in Christ’s kingdom and were asked in return, “Are you asked to drink the cup that I drink?” (v. 38). The disciples, indignant with the Zebedees, were told, “Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant” (v. 43).

Job indicates that his suffering would be more bearable if only he knew why it was happening. Job did not know that God had allowed Satan to test his faith, so Job is continuing to seek God. Job, in Job 23:1-9, 16-17, dares to seek a day in court with God. “Oh, that I knew where I might find…

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I can hardly believe it’s been a whole year since my first food column appeared in the Panola Watchman. I hope you’ve tried some of the recipes I’ve offered, and would love to know what you would like to see in future editions. Let me hear from you!

In the beginning, God spoke through his prophets, but in Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12, he is speaking through his son, Jesus Christ. Jesus, while on earth, was made a little lower than the angels. He is now crowned with glory and offers us the gift of salvation. We should realize that all things ar…

When Queen Esther, in Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22, was asked by the king, “What is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom,” she asked nothing for herself, but asked for the freedom of her people, the Jews. Haman, who had undertaken to destroy the Jews, was hanged on the very gallows he…

What exactly is courage? Biblical courage is a quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to meet the challenges of life with fearlessness, calmness and firmness. Courage is fear that has said its prayers, and it fights to the end.

Jesus asked, in Mark 8:27-38, “But who do you say that I am”? Peter confesses every true disciple’s faith, “You are the Messiah” (v. 29). This one from God, the only one who has it right, tells of his suffering, rejection, and death. Those who follow must come to terms with their crosses, an…

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Believe it or not, we’re halfway through the third quarter of 2021. In the world of groundwater management, this time of year usually represents the peak of groundwater usage and the highest likelihood of drought conditions. In other words, if we can get through September relatively unscathe…

Paul’s life was an amazing example of perseverance through dangers, suffering, and threats of death. According to 2 Corinthians 11:23-27, he experienced imprisonments, beatings, shipwrecks, and dangers from travel, weather, robbers, the Jews, the Gentiles, and false brethren. His goal was to…

Out of the heart come all kinds of evil, and the first place they go is the tongue, James 3:6. How many of us have wished we had not said that careless word or made that too quick response? Of course, we all have. Whoever invented the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words …

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Muscadines are a type of grape that grows well in our area, ripening in late August to early September. My mother and I both have vines, but I actually prefer to use her purple ones for jelly. The green variety tastes the same to me, but the purple ones make a much prettier jelly.

Solomon’s wise saying about generosity, we find in Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23. A good name is better than riches. “Those who are generous are blessed” (v. 9). The Lord cares for the poor and oppressed, therefore do not “rob the poor... or crush the afflicted” (v. 22).

After Moses died, God gave Joshua the task of leading His people into the Promised Land. Although Joshua had been trained by Moses and had worked under him, the thought of replacing Moses and taking responsibility for these people must have filled Joshua with fear and trembling. Joshua also …

A controversy between Jesus and the Pharisees centered in the conflict between traditional practices and the truth of God, revealed in Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. “You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition” (v.8). This being done today, with such questions definition of a …

The news was quickly spreading. People loved the new teacher in Galilee, and now He was coming to Nazareth. It was a Sabbath day when He stood up among them and began reading from the book of Isaiah. But wait. They knew that guy. Wasn’t that Joseph’s son? He grew up with them. What was their…

Ephesians 5:15-20, is encouraging us to be imitators of Christ. the Ephesian letter counsels wisdom. “Make the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (vv. 16 –17). God was serious about the world. He sent his only Son. …

Life is composed of a series of decisions, which is why it’s important to have a plan for making wise choices. The Bible is filled with verses about prayer and discovering God’s will. If we follow a plan based on God’s Word, we’ll make decisions wisely and avoid the difficulties and heartach…

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For a dedicated cook, a kitchen remodel can be a blessing. During the process, however, it seems much the opposite! I currently have no countertops, no stove, and no sink, so experimenting with recipes will have to wait a while. However, here are a couple of great potato salad recipes for th…

When Joab led King David’s warriors out to fight against the rebellion of his son, Absalom, as revealed in 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33, it was with the words, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom” (v. 5). There was a son who wanted his father dead. There was a father who wanted…

Sometimes, when we think about fearing God, we feel like we might lose out on the good things in life. But the truth is there are many blessings that come with acknowledging God’s sovereignty and power. Here are a few reasons why reverencing the Lord is a very good idea.

The Book of Ephesians emphasizes that we are justified by faith. When we are justified, we receive the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:1-16, is the beginning of the ethical teaching of the fruits of unity: such as being humble, gentile, patient, understanding and peaceful. We could co…

King David’s adultery with the beautiful Bathsheba led to an unwanted pregnancy and the intrigue, deception and the arranged death of her husband Uriah, as revealed in 2 Samuel 11:1-15. The king was unable to get the disciplined soldier, Uriah, to spend time with his wife. Therefore, he sent…

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One of the many “things that matter” are the statements being made today by fellow Americans. No doubt you have heard many of them. In case you missed some, here are “bits and pieces” you can read on the way back from the mailbox. For example: “I haven’t heard one politician say how they pla…

We all have access to the Father through Christ, as indicated in Ephesians 2:11-22. Both Jew, “those who were near” (v. 17), and Gentile, “you who were far off” (v. 17), have equal access to Jesus Christ, who bridged the gap for us to the Father. “So then you are no longer strangers and alie…

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this, the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live t…

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On June 23, Comrade Joe Biden gave us all great insight into his incompetency. Once again, the wannabe tyrant painted a picture for grade schoolers that guns are the reason for the unacceptable rise in crime. Oh, he went further to help us more ignorant folks understand that it was all the l…

Salome was at the birthday party of Herod Antipas. She was the daughter of Herodias, Herod’s illegitimate wife, as stated in Mark 6:14-29. The beautiful daughter of Herodias took in Herod, so he asked her to dance for the guests. Herod said, “Ask me for whatever you wish and I will give it” …

Well, it’s been a while since submitting a “Things That Matter” article for public reading. Several people have asked, “What happened to your writing?” Or, “We miss your articles!” I am honored by your comments and expressions of appreciation! Better just leave it at that rather than telling…

Samuel traveled to Bethlehem in search of the person God had chosen to be the next king of Israel. Jesse’s son David was the last to be interviewed by Samuel. When David entered the room Samuel knew that this was the one, and he anointed him to be Israel’s next king (1 Samuel 16:11). When Da…

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribul…

Two miracle stories are told, in Mark 5:21-43. One demonstrates Jesus’s power over disease. A woman touched his garment and was healed of her disease. The other demonstrates his authority over death. A Jewish official (Jairus) had a daughter who was already dead, and mourners were wailing wh…

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If the oven-like feeling outside wasn’t obvious enough, summer is in full swing here in East Texas. For a variety of reasons, many of us will be doing more outside, from working hay fields to clearing brush to pure recreation. Safety is rightfully the No. 1 concern for any activity, and the …