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Article

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

One of the greatest traditions that is specific to this congregation is what takes place after a person has been baptized into Christ. Everyone present forms a circle around the auditorium (well, ideally it’s a circle—usually it’s more of an irregular polygon, we’re not too good at this part), joins hands, and sings, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.” This serves as an impressive reminder of the life-changing significance of faith in Christ expressed in baptism. It is even more…

4 Things Christians Should Do When Tragedies Occur

By now, all of us know about the tragic attack at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas last Sunday. Reactions have run the gamut from grief to shock to fear to anger. All of those, and more, are understandable, but not all responses are appropriate for Christians. What should we do? This article by Wes McAdamas addresses the question as well as any I’ve ever seen. It is slightly abridged here; you can access it in…

Make the Right Choice

In 1988, Dan Quayle was selected as the running mate for the Republican Presidential candidate, George H. W. Bush. Within just a few hours of that announcement, he faced the most intense scrutiny of his life. One of the questions revolved around his enlistment in the National Guard during the Vietnam War: did he use personal connections to do that, and did he do it to avoid going overseas? In a news conference the day after his selection, he answered…

O Come, All Ye Faithful

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John…

O Little Town of Bethlehem

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.– Micah 5:2 Phillips Brooks was born in Boston in 1835. On his father’s side, he was descended from John Cotton, the great 17thcentury Puritan minister. Whether that influenced his path or not, after graduating first from Harvard and then from the Virginia…
Pumpkin background for thanksgiving and halloween.

Straying Pilgrims

We all think we know the gist of the story of the first Thanksgiving. The English settlers known as Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in November 1620. After establishing a colony, they endured a harsh winter. But through the help of some friendly American Indians, they were able to survive and plant some crops. When a bountiful harvest came through in late 1621, they and their native allies all got together and celebrated, giving thanks to God for his provision.…
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Count Your Blessings

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thess 5:18)  Paul exhorts us to give thanks to God regardless of our circumstances in life. But that’s hard. Sometimes conditions are less than ideal; at other times, they’re downright bad. We all feel overwhelmed by life at times. In those instances, we are so close to our own problems that we think they must be greater than anyone else’s. It seems…
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Taste and See

The proof is in the pudding. That’s one of those idioms we all know; it means that the end result will tell whether or not our efforts or planning were successful. But the phrase doesn’t make much sense when you really break it down: why is the proof in the pudding anyway? It becomes clearer in knowing that this is a shortened form of the original phrase: the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The word proof here…

Homecoming

The most famous story Jesus ever told is about a homecoming. We find it in Luke 15. One day, a young man went to his father and demanded his share of the inheritance. Then he left home and traveled to a distant land, wasting all of his money in wild living. When hard times hit, with no other recourse, he hired himself out to a farmer who had him feed pigs. Jesus could not paint a more dramatic picture of…
Businesspeople shaking hands in office

Stone and Campbell Unite

The two Restoration Movements led respectively by Barton W. Stone and Thomas and Alexander Campbell came into increasing contact with each other in Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky throughout the 1820s. Their interactions brought the realization that they had a great deal in common, with their commitment to Scripture as their only guide and common call to unify Christians around the primitive NT church. Despite some differences that existed, members of both movements began to question why they did not unite…
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Stone and Campbell Intersect

A Restoration Movement, led primarily by Barton W. Stone, emerged in Kentucky; another Restoration movement, led by Thomas and Alexander Campbell, emerged in southwest Pennsylvania. As these two groups spread, they began to intersect in Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. By 1823, Stone’s Christian numbered between 15 and 20 thousand, and few had heard of Alexander Campbell. But that year, he traveled to Kentucky to debate the Presbyterian W. L. McCalla on baptism, taking along several copies of his new journal,…
Quill pen on an old book in a library

Alexander Campbell and the Baptists

While Thomas Campbell was separated from his family, establishing himself—and a burgeoning reform movement—in America, they had an eventful 30 months themselves. Their first attempt at a voyage was shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland. That night, while awaiting rescue, Thomas’s 20 year old son Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) made a decision he had often contemplated: he would devote his live to ministry. It was too late in the year to attempt to cross the Atlantic again, so the Campbells settled…