Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, bringing sin into God’s perfect creation. They experienced an immediate separation from their Maker, and from that moment, all of creation began longing for redemption.

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Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, bringing sin into God’s perfect creation. They experienced an immediate separation from their Maker, and from that moment, all of creation began longing for redemption.

Jesus taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes in Mark 1:21-28. Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum is linked with an account of an exorcism. A demon, not allowed to be in synagogue, but there nonetheless, cries out against Jesus, who then casts out the demon. “H…

The Creator has a specific plan for each person’s life, and He’s arranged our talents, abilities and circumstances to fit with these individualized goals (Eph. 2:10). When we connect with our God-given purpose, we feel deep satisfaction and great joy. However, it’s important to understand th…

After a rugged and seemingly endless 2020, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. We are not done yet, but with vaccination programs ongoing and the disease and effective treatments better understood, we should be able to establish a new normal at some point in 2021. There are myriad challenges, but the path is beginning to emerge.

On New Year’s Eve, the Justice Center in Portland Oregon was set on fire by “protestors.” Certainly, the Justice Center is a sacred symbol of our country’s democracy. The protests in Portland have been happening for months, and while Congressmen from both parties condemned the violence, it i…

Jonah, are you listening? God had to get Jonah’s attention. In Jonah 3:1-5,10, Nineveh was a large pagan city that symbolized enmity with God. Jonah, a narrow-minded, nationalistic prophet, wanted nothing to do with such foreigners. Nevertheless, he obeyed the second call and preached among …

How many of you have a sibling/siblings? I have a brother; two years younger than I am. To say we are “polar opposites” would be an understatement. I had, (before the gray took over) dark hair. My eyes are brown. Shawn had (before he lost his) blonde hair. He has blue eyes. I’m very outspoken; Shawn is meek and mild. Shawn sees the good in everyone and everything. Me: well, let’s just say I think I see my realities in everyone and everything.

Salvation occurs when we trust Jesus as our Savior. He forgives us, transforms us, and sees us as righteous. At that moment, we are redeemed, and though we will continue to struggle with sin, it is a defeated foe. Then as time goes on, our service, gifts and love for God should naturally bec…

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Ah, January! The holidays are behind us, spring is still in the distance, and here we are, shivering. But on those freezing, sleety, rainy days, everything seems better with a bowl of hot soup and a pan of crusty cornbread.

When Paul, in Acts 10:1-7, came to Ephesus he found some disciples who had been baptized and asked, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” (v2) The text distinguishes between the baptism of John the Baptist, a purification rite associated with repentance, and Paul’s bap…

Retirement in today’s world is a blessing. You no longer have to work in this crazy COVID world. You do sometime forget what day of the week it is with no Monday to Friday schedule to follow. And you do not have to shave everyday, which makes Ruby not very happy with her retired husband. And…

The story of Daniel illustrates the key elements of obedience (Daniel 1:1-8). We see the wise young man doing what the Lord commanded, both in the right manner and with the right timing.

“Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking “Where is the child who has been born King of the Jews’” as revealed in Matthew 2:1-12. Herod was troubled and wanted the child dead. The Jews were indifferent. Magi (men wise about sacred things) came from afar to worship the child Matthew a…

Another year has come and gone. As we enter into 2021, we can reflect back on 2020 and we’ve experienced good and bad things in our lives, as we’ve been clouded by a world-wide pandemic. However, we should be thankful for the blessings sent our way, and not have our vison blinded by only the…

The apostle Paul knew the value of good friends: Silas partnered with him in establishing new churches; Barnabas encouraged him in his ministry, and Timothy became like a son to him. Paul also knew the heartache of co-laborers turning away from him when times were tough (2 Tim. 1:15). We may…

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Cities and counties across our country, including in the Lone Star State, are taking necessary precautions, locking down and ordering people to quarantine as COVID numbers rise. In Texas, we have already lost more than 23,000 people to COVID, but there is another crisis taking lives in our c…

Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple to be consecrated to God, where they met Simon and Anna in the temple. Simeon and Anna recognized Jesus as the Messiah. So in Simeon’s song “Nunc Dimittis,” Simeon said I can die in peace because I have seen Jesus the Messiah, as revealed in Luke 2:22-40.

This time last year, Texas was wrapping up a year of record low unemployment and job growth in which nearly 1,000 jobs were being added every day. Economic growth seemed limitless, driven by a business-friendly climate and a relatively stable energy market.

Paul, in Romans 16:25-27, concludes his letter to the Romans with a doxology. It begins, “Now to God who is able to strengthen you... (v. 25). Mysteries, unknown for ages, were revealed in Christ. The final praise is “to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever!”…

I’ve had people tell me, “I wish I had great faith.” While most of us would like God just to drop that kind of confidence into our laps, it’s not the way He operates. Our faith increases as a result of our obedience in little things. We all marvel at Abraham’s willingness to offer up Isaac a…

Paul asks the Thessalonians, in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, to “respect those who . . . have charge of you in the Lord”. Esteem and affection are their due. Paul teaches “be at peace among yourselves” (v. 13), but then goes on to say, “admonish, encourage, help, be patient” (v. 14). Negative re…

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go ...” And so it begins: the season of all seasons! A lot of folks already have their decorations up. I was blessed to have kids who came home for Thanksgiving to help set all of mine up and by all, I mean ... I could have a garage sale of just Christmas decorations and make a killing but I would never do that. You can never have too much Christmas!

Many people struggle with a poor self-image and find it hard to accept themselves. Often, the thought patterns contributing to their perception have existed for years. How then, can the cycle be broken?

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and you’re looking forward to Christmas now. I would like to share a couple of recipes that are tried and true, and hope you will enjoy them with your family.

Mark 1:1-8, reveals “The beginning of the good news.” This is Mark’s equivalent to the prologue of John and the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke. He begins with John the Baptist, a lone prophet who confronted the apostasy of Israel with a message of repentance and waters of purification.…

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When Kenneth Smart hired me to be sports editor at the Kilgore News Herald back in 1987, I assumed he did so because he found someone willing to work 80-hour weeks covering sporting events for basically enough money to keep gas in the truck. ...to cover more sporting events.

Our Father does not consider prayer an optional part of the Christian life. The Bible tells us that two-way communication with God is essential. From Mark 1:35-37, the discipline of prayer includes…

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, we are once again reminded of the abundant blessings in our lives. However, this year’s turn of events has added a newfound sense of gratitude.

While many businesses/industries have continued to thrive during the pandemic, sadly, over 2 million businesses have shut their doors from the economic impact of the pandemic lockdowns, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

When the Son of Man comes in his glory ... he will sit on the throne of his glory as indicated in Matthew 25:31-46. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from goats (vv. 31-32). Those who have accepted and …

One of the most humbling aspects of the Lord’s love is His desire for everyone to know Him personally. The same God who created the universe and who interacted with Abraham, Moses, and Paul, wants us to know Him intimately.

Considering “times and seasons” the question is asked in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. When will the day of the Lord come? Paul raises a more important issue, the way in which we wait for it. The day will be a surprise. “It will come like a thief in the night” (v. 2). His counsel is to be awake an…

“Man is born for trouble” (Job 5:7). There is absolutely no way to avoid or escape this universal condition of humanity. As we continue to look at the life of Joseph, we catch a glimpse of the anchor that held him steady while, one after another, the waves of affliction rolled over him (Gene…

Paul’s converts had come to believe that Christ’s return would be immediate or at least in their lifetime, as revealed in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. But Christ had not come, and some of their number had died. What would become of these dead? Paul answers, “God will bring with him those who die…

When the problems of life seem overwhelming, we need someone to come alongside and help us to see our difficulties through the eyes of our sovereign God. From the Bible, Joseph is just such a person. Although he lived thousands of years ago, his story still speaks to us with great insight in…